Many sex offenders committed non-violent crimes, or possibly even crimes they did not know were sexually offensive. Others have served their time and completed rehabilitation decades ago, but are still restricted in their freedoms. Offenses that can lead to required registration include streaking, public urination, or soliciting a prostitute. Minors can also be required to register, including for offenses such as sexting another minor.
In many ways, the Sex Offender Registry treats crimes like public indecency and sexual assault the same. It is, unfortunately, often true that offenders who are not public dangers must suffer the significant consequences of required registry. However, some offenders are able to de-register if they meet certain requirements. An experienced Greenwood Village criminal defense lawyer can help you determine your eligibility and guide you through the next steps. Speak to a seasoned attorney about sex offender de-registration in Greenwood Village.
Why Must Offenders Register?
There are many reasons why the government requires registration as a sex offender. The National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification states that if a sexually violent crime occurs, law enforcement can use the registration system to possibly help identify a perpetrator. Additionally, registered sex offenders may be less likely to re-offend if they believe their identities and locations are being monitored.
Who Must Register As A Sex Offender
Individuals who commit specific sex offenses and/or offenses against children must register. Guidelines for who must register are in the Sex Offender Registration Act (Sections 16-22-01 through 16-22-114, C.R.S) Those required to register must also re-register periodically, and when they move residences. Depending on the offense, you might be required to register for 10 years to life. You will be required to register for life if you are labeled as a sexually violent predator, or if you have been convicted of multiple sex offenses. In Colorado, to be considered a sexually violent predator, you must:
- Have been 18 years old when the offense was committed or tried as an adult
- Have been convicted of sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, sexual assault on a child, or sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust
- Victim must have been a stranger to the offender, or a person with whom the offender promoted a relationship with for the purpose of victimization
- Meet other scoring criteria
When these requirements are met, a judge will decide whether the offender should be designated a sexually violent predator.
Registered Sex Offender Restrictions
The restrictions on sex offenders may vary based on the offense committed and location they reside. However, they are generally banned from having certain jobs, such as ones with children present, like schools and daycare centers. They must also stay a specified distance away from schools, parks, and other child-focused locations. This includes working next to these locations or taking your own children to these locations. This can also be an issue when finding a place to live, as many houses are near these areas. And even if you find a place not next to a banned area, landlords may still often deny you based off the sex offender status.
Many Registered Sex Offenders have difficulty finding jobs and housing, which can lead to homelessness or poverty. They also face many social barriers and may have trouble fitting in with their community, since their registration information may be public. The difficulties sex offender status present to offenders makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to reintegrate into society.
De-Registering As A Sex Offender
Some offenders are eligible to de-register as a sex offender. You can ask the court to end your requirement to register if you meet one of these conditions:
- You have successfully completed the terms and conditions of a deferred sentence, the case has been dismissed, and since that time you have not been convicted for an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior
- You were less than 18 years old when you committed the offense, completed your sentence or disposition related to that offense, and have not been convicted of any offense involving unlawful sexual behavior since that time
- The offense committed was a misdemeanor other than unlawful sexual contact or third-degree sexual assault, and it has been five years since your final release from the jurisdiction of the court, and you have not been convicted of an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior since that time
- The offense committed was a class 4-6 felony, or class 1 misdemeanor for unlawful sexual contact or third-degree sexual assault and it has been 10 years since your final release from the jurisdiction of the court or discharge from DOC-DHS, and you have not been convicted of an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior since that time
- The offense committed was a class 1-3 felony, and it has been 20 years since your final release from the jurisdiction of the court or discharge from the DOC/DHS, and you have not been convicted of an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior since that time
In Colorado, you are not eligible to de-register if you:
- Are classified as a sexually violent predator
- Are an adult with more than one conviction for unlawful sexual behavior
- You were convicted as an adult for sexual assault in first of second degree, 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, incest, or aggravated incest.
Sexual Offender Registration can impact every area of your life. If you believe you are eligible to de-register, you should consider discussing your situation with an experienced Greenwood Village criminal defense attorney. Justie and Jenn can provide you thorough guidance and advise you of your options to proceed. Call today for your initial case consultation to discuss your eligibility for sex offender de-registration in Greenwood Village and your next steps.