Rather than have a system where police agencies talk with each other, or where a central registry has a computer program command to “de-register” an old registration when the new is entered, we criminalize good intentioned people who don't know complex laws perfectly and face charges of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.
Under C.R.S. 18-3-412.5, it is a class five felony to fail to register as a sex offender. This ridiculous crime in Denver, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Adams County also requires a sentence to Intensive Supervision Probation if you don't go to prison, and upon release from prison. Good job Colorado legislature! Instead of setting up a separate, minimal civil penalty for people who forget or do not know they must register as a sex offender, we treat them identical to the person who knowingly fails to register as a sex offender.
It boggles my mind how short sighted this policy is to criminalize a person's failure to register. This is not a safety issue; the problem is really one of government. They have the technology to send the old police agency an email saying the person is now registering with them. Beyond that, a computer could do it mindlessly if programmed to do so.
Government does not look forward at the consequences of its laws. Lives are impacted as we all must pay for an overcrowded prison population, families on welfare without parents, and probation officers supervising low risk prior offenders. All these costs are money well spent IF there is an identifiable risk to the public. But here, a failure to register presents no such risk.
If you are facing Failure to Register as a Sex Offender charges, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.