Your kids may have grown up in or are currently growing up in the new era of technology. With the internet and the many features of a smartphone easily accessible to teens, it has posed a risk for those involved in “sexting”. Sexting is something that has become widely popular for teens. An article I was reading this morning detailed the risks surrounding sexting among teens of all ages. Sexting can even lead to serious sex crime charges in Arapahoe, Jefferson County and across Colorado.
The Dangers of Sexting Among Colorado Juveniles
One of the first points concerning this new trend is that many kids think sexting is private. However, it's not difficult for someone receiving an explicit image on his or her phone to share it. He or she could instantly share it over text, by email, or over the internet. Beyond the risk of an inappropriate image being shared is the fact that someone has that explicit material in his or her possession. This is where serious charges can result. If a seventeen year old boy is found with a sexually explicit photograph of a 14-year-old, for example, he could be charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Sexual Exploitation of a Child, C.R.S 18-6-403, is a class 6 felony if someone is caught possessing sexually exploitative material. A juvenile could also be charged with Internet Luring of a Child, C.R.S 18-3-306 or Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, C.R.S 18-3-405.4, both sex offenses. The penalties for these crimes, however, differ among juveniles versus adults (individuals eighteen years of age or older). But, there are still harsh consequences juveniles could face. Let's look more closely into the treatment of juvenile sex crimes.
How Expungement or Sealing of a Juvenile Sex Crime Case Occurs in Douglas County
In many cases, juvenile records can be expunged in Douglas County and across Colorado. In other words, the records can be treated as if they never existed. For those crimes classified as Unlawful Sexual Behavior, where an adjudication has entered, expungement is not possible. A Petition for Expungement of Records must be filed in order to request for a juvenile record to be expunged. This can be filed only once during a 12-month period. A juvenile may be able to have his or her record expunged (C.R.S 19-1-306) if:
- Immediately after the following situations: a finding of not guilty at an adjudicatory trial; dismissal of the petition in its entirety as a result of non-prosecution of the offense; or successful completion of a juvenile diversion program, a deferred adjudication, or an informal adjustment.
- One year from the date of the following occurrences: a law enforcement contact that did not result in a referral to another agency; or the termination of the court's jurisdiction over you after successful completion of probation.
- Three years from the date of the following occurrences: your unconditional release from commitment to the Department of Human Services; or your unconditional release from parole supervision.
- Five years from the date of the termination of the court's jurisdiction over you or your unconditional release from probation or parole supervision, whichever date is later, if you have been adjudicated a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender and if you have not further violated any criminal statute.
- Crimes classified as Unlawful Sexual Behavior for which a person has been adjudicated, cannot be expunged. It is important to meet with an experienced sexual offense attorney to discuss what an adjudication is and what crimes are classified as Unlawful Sexual Behavior.
The following crimes fall under the definition of Unlawful Sexual Behavior, C.R.S 16-22-102(9):
· Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault in the First, Second and Third Degree
· Unlawful Sexual Contact
· Sexual Assault on a Child / Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust
· Sexual Assault on a Client by a Psychotherapist
· Enticement of a Child
· Incest and Aggravated Incest
· Trafficking in Children
· Sexual Exploitation of Children, Procurement of a Child for Sexual Exploitation
· Indecent Exposure
· Soliciting for Child Prostitution, Pandering of a Child, Procurement of a Child, Keeping a Place of Child Prostitution, Pimping of a Child, Inducement of Child Prostitution, Patronizing a Prostituted Child
· Engaging in Sexual Conduct in a Correctional Institution
· Wholesale Promotion of Obscenity to a Minor, Promotion of Obscenity to a Minor
· Class 4 Felony Internet Luring of a Child, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child
· Public Indecency (a second, third or subsequent offense)
· Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification
· Second Degree Kidnapping
Why Your Child Needs the Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers
Sexting is something parents and kids alike should become more wary of in Denver and Adams County. The consequences that arise from sexting may tarnish your child's future, limiting where they live, work or who they have contact with. These consequences can result from registering as a sex offender or as required under treatment rules set in place by the Sex Offender Management Board. A juvenile facing charges resulting from sexting can face a permanent adjudication rather than being convicted. This means he or she couldn't seal or expunge their record for several types of crimes. It's vital for you and your child to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office if your child is facing charges – before a plea is entered. We know how important your child's life is—we want to ensure that it is protected.Request a Free Consultation