An accusation and a conviction for a sexual offense could have severe and harsh consequences. Additionally, sex crimes that involve minors, the government will aggressively prosecute. If convicted, individuals may face serious jail time, fines, and a requirement to add their personal information on the sex offender registry for a long period of time, sometimes requiring lifetime registry.
Following an accusation of a sexual offense, seek help from a Greeley sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Taking immediate action is vital to obtaining the best possible outcome. Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson have lots of experience helping individuals fight their case and can help discuss your options.
There are many different types of sex crimes. Each crime carries their own penalties and thus it is very important to know exactly what you are charged with to determine what your possible penalties entail.
Sex offenses, which involve contact with another person, mostly fall under the category of unlawful sexual behavior. The law defines various aspects of sexual assault in Colorado Revised Statutes §18-3-401.
Rape is sexual assault under the statute. If an actor forces his or her will on a victim in a sexual manner on purpose or drugs a victim, that action may violate C.R.S. §18-3-402.
Sexual assault under this statute is a class 4 felony. The court may sentence an actor to up to six years in prison and order they pay a $500,000 fine. However, there are certain sex assaults which aggravate the offense to a higher level felony.
If the victim is deemed helpless and the actor knew this, this would aggravate the offense to a class 3 felony. Also, the same punishment applies if the actor used physical force, threatened death or massive physical harm, kidnapped the victim, threatened revenge, or drugged the victim. Penalties may include up to $750,000 in fines and 12 years in prison.
If the victim was less than 15 years old and the actor was at least four years older, a person can be charged with Sexual Assault on a Child, as defined in C.R.S. §18-3-405.
If the police catch someone talking sexually with a minor online, a person could be charged with Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, a class 4 felony. The government may attempt to prove that the actor knew they were having a sexual conversation with a young person or use other entrapment methods to catch a person on the internet engaging in sexual conversations with underage kids.
Indecent exposure is defined as when a person knowingly exposes their genitals to the public or another person, a class one misdemeanor under C.R.S. §18-7-302. The court may require the actor to pay a $5,000 fine and go to jail for up to 18 months.
One sexual offense that is more difficult to understand is unlawful sexual contact. This is a sort of catch-all offense that covers sexual activities that are illegal but do not fall under any of the other categories. According to C.R.S. §18-3-404, this behavior can include:
Most instances of unlawful sexual conduct are class 1 misdemeanors. However, the charge may upgrade to a class 4 felony if the defendant uses force or coercion to achieve the contact.
Another example of a sex crime is sexual conduct in a penal institution. Under C.R.S. §18-7-701, no employee, contract employee, or volunteer of any correctional institution may engage in any form of sexual conduct with an inmate of that facility. The severity of this accusation changes based on the type of sexual contact and the defendant’s status. The most severe examples are class 5 felonies that involve sexual penetration committed by an employee. Class 6 felonies involve sexual contact committed by employees. The offense is a class 1 misdemeanor when the act is sexual contact and involves a volunteer.
Though jail sentences and fines vary based on the level of the alleged act and other aggravating circumstances, the actor may also face probation and mandatory registration as a sex offender. This registration may prohibit the accused actor from living in certain areas or holding certain professional positions, not to mention restrictions on how close one can be to children—even one’s own children. An attorney in Greeley may be able to help avoid some or all of these penalties related to sex crimes.
You may not know the best course of action if another person accuses you of behaving in an improper sexual manner. It can be scary not to know where to turn. You may find comfort in speaking with our experienced legal team at Nicol Gersch Petterson.
Call today to schedule a consultation with a Greeley sex crimes lawyer to learn about the criminal procedure and what you can do to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation.