There are many restrictions put on a registered sex offender in Denver, including tracking where they live and banning a residence in certain areas. One state tried to add another restriction to the lives of those who register as a sex offender: banning them from social media sites. The proposed law was taken to the Supreme Court, who shot it down after hearing arguments that banning a certain group of people from social media actually violates their 1st Amendment rights. The state argued that this restriction is similar to banning sex offenders from residing near a school. Their justification was that it was a preventative measure to keep contact with kids to a minimum. Thankfully, the Supreme Court didn't see it the same way and ruled the law unconstitutional.
Sex Offenders in Douglas County, Colorado and Social Media: What are the Current Restrictions?
Currently, in Douglas County, Colorado, sex offenders on probation or parole are initially banned from social media as part of their terms and conditions of supervision. This can be modified depending on progress with supervision and treatment, or it can remain a condition for the entirety of the supervision period – the choice sits with the probation officer, parole officer and treatment provider (the community supervision team). However, there are no restrictions on social media usage once a person convicted of a sex offense is off supervision.
Jefferson County Defense Attorney's Response to Supreme Court Ruling
In a climate where many are pushing for more restrictions, this ruling is definitely a step in the right direction. A ruling from the Supreme Court carries a lot of weight, so I was a little worried about the potential outcome. While it seemed obvious to me that a ban from social media was unconstitutional, public opinion favors an unlimited number of restrictions on offenders. Take, for example, our ‘innocent until proven guilty' principle. It does not apply to those accused of a sex offense, as a Jefferson County judge will enter a protection order preventing that person from having contact with anyone under the age of 18. Even if the accusations have nothing to do with a child, the order is still entered.Request a Free Consultation