We speak to prospective clients and people charged with or convicted of sex offenses like Sexual Assault on a Child in Denver, Enticement of a Child in Jefferson County, Internet Luring of a Child in Adams County, and Sexual Assault on a Child – Position of Trust in Arapahoe County everyday in our law office. Many of them vent their frustrations about the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) that governs people in Douglas, Larimer, and Weld County. Here are a few questions and answers we hear from clients.
Q: Are there restrictions on working while undergoing Sex Offender Treatment?
A: Everyone in Sex Offender Treatment must have a job that employs them full time. In some cases, the offender will have had a job previously in Denver or Douglas County that will let them continue their employment and that also meets the restrictions imposed by the Sex Offender Management Board. The SOMB approves all new or current employment. They will usually not allow anyone in Sex Offender Treatment to work in any job where children may be present. If you currently have a job where interaction with children is a possibility you will likely be required to find another one or set up a solid safety plan. Be aware that you must inform a future employer of the sex offense conviction. Full disclosure is required. After a sex offender begins a job, their probation or parole officers make random visits to ensure that everything is up to SOMB standards.
Q: I am in Sex Offender Treatment and had to quit or was let go of my job because of the sex crime charges. What kind of job can I get now?
A: Upon hearing of charges for a sexual offense like Sexual Assault, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child or Incest, many places of employment in Boulder and Weld County will suspend the person facing those charges even though nothing has been proven. The mere thought of employing a sex offender scares many people, but SOMB requires that everyone in Sex Offender Treatment work at a full time job. It is a difficult catch twenty-two. Options for employment are definitely more limited for someone in Sex Offender Treatment. Many people work construction, roofing, or other manual labor with long hours and harsh conditions. SOMB does allow employment with family member or friends that are willing to hire as long as that type of employment meets all of their conditions. SOMB will sometimes allow someone in Sex Offender Treatment to operate a business of their own.
Q: Does being in a Sex Offender Treatment program inhibit my ability to hunt, shoot, or my right to own a gun?
A: Any convicted felon (meaning an individual convicted of a felony crime) loses all gun rights automatically upon conviction in Arapahoe and Adams County. Often times, people are not aware of this loss of their Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms when they agree to a plea deal or enter a guilty plea for a felony crime. Many rights are lost for convicted sex felons, in addition to gun rights. A person convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime and in SOMB Treatment will not be allowed to have guns until off probation. If there is a restraining order against you involved with the case, it may also be a prohibiting factor to possessing a firearm. It is interesting to note that a convicted felon may apply for and receive a hunting license, because unlike gun purchases, there is no background check required. Lawmakers are seeking to close this loophole, even though you can hunt with a bow and arrow.
Q: Should I put travel plans on hold while I am undergoing Colorado Sex Offender Therapy? Can I go out of state?
A: You will only be able to leave Colorado during Sex Offender Treatment with permission from an approved therapist from SOMB and your probation officer. They will then work with you to create what they call a “Safety Plan,” which is a detailed way to ensure safety while traveling. There are many hassles that go along with the simple action of wanting to leave the state. SOMB has engineered its system so that sex offenders are treated almost like children and constantly monitored. They do this because they do not want to be blamed if the person in treatment offends again.
Q: I was going to get a Public Defender for my sex offense charge. Is it really worth to spend the money on a Private Attorney or Criminal Lawyer?
A: Public Defenders are the most over worked people in the justice system. They handle over a hundred different cases at a time, and do not have the resources to properly investigate circumstances or interview witnesses as a private attorney does. Trusting your life to a busy public defender in a sex offense case is a risky move. A private defense is worth the time and money to ensure that you will leave the court proceedings with your reputation, and freedom, intact. Don’t under estimate the seriousness of a sex offense charge. Unlike other felony crimes in Colorado, sex offenders face a harsh stigma which is difficult to overcome. Many times, good people are convicted of sex offenses they are not guilty of, because a liar fooled the judge and jury. Don’t hope that the police and investigators will be working to prove your innocence. That is not their job. We, however, are experts at protecting our clients. We know a great deal about sexual charges that involve therapy, Sex Offender Registration, and Indeterminate Sentencing.