People who are convicted of sex crimes in Colorado are required to register as sex offenders. Any adult who is convicted of a felony sex crime becomes publicly searchable through the person’s entry into Colorado’s Sex Offender Tracking and Registration System (“SOTAR”). Most offenders are required to register annually, but there are some cases in which offenders must register more frequently—every three months.
Who Must Register?
Article 22 of title 16 the Colorado Offender Registration Act requires any person who;
- Was convicted in the state of Colorado of an unlawful sexual offense, as defined in section 18-3-411 C.R.S. enticement of a child as described in section 18-3-305 C.R.S. or internet luring of a child as described in section 18-3-306.
- Any person who was convicted in another state or jurisdiction of an offense that if committed in Colorado would constitute an unlawful sexual offense.
- Any person who was released from the department of corrections of this state or any other state having served a sentence for an unlawful sexual offense.
Crimes mentioned in the previous statement that require sex offender registration include any person that is convicted of:
- Any unlawful sexual offense
- Enticement of a child
- Sexual assault
- Sexual assault when the child is less than fifteen years of age
- Sexual assault in the first degree
- Sexual assault in the first degree when the child is less than fifteen years of age
- Sexual assault in the second degree
- Unlawful sexual contact if the victim is less than fifteen years of age
- Sexual assault in the third degree
- Sexual assault in the third degree when the child is less than fifteen years of age
- Sexual assault on a child
- Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust
- Aggravated incest
- Trafficking in children
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- 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 a child prostitution
- Patronizing a prostituted child
- Class 4 felony internet luring of a child
- Internet exploitation of a child
- Criminal attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these acts
Who Must Register Quarterly?
The following people are required to register as a sex offender every three months in Colorado.
- Sexually violent predators;
- People convicted out-of-state if their the conviction would require quarterly registration in Colorado; and
- People convicted as an adult in Colorado of:
- felony sexual assault;
- sexual assault on a child;
- sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust;
- sexual assault on a child by a psychotherapist;
- incest; or
- aggravated incest
What Information is Needed to Register?
Registering as a sex offender is a comprehensive process and requires you to submit your personal information to a statewide registry. The following details are downloaded into an electronic database that is accessible to law enforcement for any investigation purposes. The requested information includes but is not limited to:
- all names (legal names, nicknames or other aliases)
- date of birth
- all addresses
- place of employment, if enrolled in any level of education than the location of that institution
- all addresses and locations at which the person works or attends classes or any other activities
- If child sex crimes must also provide their email addresses, instant messaging identities, and any other internet aliases.
Registering As A Sex Offender
Individuals who are convicted of unlawful sexual behavior are required to follow all orders by the court, parole, and probation. This includes but is not limited to initial registration as well as re-registration. Registration must occur within 5 business days of being notified to register.
If a person required to register is sentenced to probation, as soon as possible following the sentencing, the probation department will require a signature on documentation letting you know that you have to register. This will be proof that you know you have to register as well as re-register. If you fail to register, this document will be evidence that you knew you had to register and you failed to do so. Probation will then communicate all of your information to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
What Information Can the Public See About Sex Offenders?
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation website reveals the following sex offender registration information about offenders:
- Residential address (including county)
- Custody status
- Hair color
- Eye color
- Scars, marks, and tattoos
- Crimes and conviction dates
- If they are sexually violent predators
- Modus operandi information (details of predatory habits), if known
- If they’ve ever failed to register as a sex offender
This information might also be posted by local law enforcement agencies on their websites.
Note that the following offenders are not publicly searchable on the registry:
- People adjudicated as a juvenile, or
- People convicted only of a misdemeanor
Re-registering As a Sex Offender
Anyone who is convicted of a sex offense is required to register, as well as to re-register on the first birthday after the initial registration and every birthday after that. Any failure to re-register will result in additional charges and penalties. All local law enforcement agencies require updated information and proof that the information you provide in registering as a sex offender if factual and correct.
If you move, whether it is a mile or 100 miles, you must re-register with that local law enforcement agency as well. You are required to provide your new address to both the new and previous law enforcement agencies if there is a change in jurisdiction. Failure to do so can result in failure to register charges.
Only the court can determine when you can stop re-registering. There are numerous accounts of individuals who mistakenly stopped registering because they completed probation. These people were further charged with failure to register thus spending more time and money in the court system. It is very important to pay attention to the process of being on and off probation – it could mean the difference between completing probation successfully or failing, and having to deal with a new charge, sentence, and possibly extended sex offender registration and probation.
Based on the severity of the sexual offense, some individuals must stay registered for the rest of their lives. The following crimes in the state of Colorado require lifelong registration:
- Sexually violent predators
- Persons convicted as an adult of sexual assault in the first or second degree
- Sex assault of a child
- Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist
- Persons convicted of incest
- Any adult with more than one conviction for unlawful sexual behavior
Petition to Deregister
Depending on your conviction, you may be eligible to petition for de-registration. The time requirements listed below are in effect only after one has successfully completed and been discharged from court, parole, and/or probation.
- For class 1, 2, and 3 felonies, 20 years must pass before the Petition can be filed
- For class 4, 5, and 6 felonies, 10 years must pass before the Petition can be filed
- For class 1 misdemeanors, 10 years must pass before the Petition can be filed
- For all other classes of misdemeanors, 5 years must pass before the petition can be filed
- A deferred judgment or sentence agreements after the sentence is completed successfully
- Juvenile Adjudications after the sentence is completed successfully
Under no circumstances can you legally discontinue the re-registration process without the consent of the court. You cannot automatically stop registering just because the time requirement has passed or because you have been released from parole or probation. To remain in compliance with the law you must have your petition granted by a judge. If you fail to get this order from a judge, then you will be prosecuted for Failure to Register.
A petition can only be filed once you completed all of the requirements successfully and the appropriate amount of time has passed. Until a petition has been granted, you are legally bound to continue to register as a sex offender every year on your birth date.
Probation for Future Charges
In the event that you are criminally convicted of any future charges, no matter what the crime (even if it is not sex-related such as theft or DUI), Colorado law requires all previous sex offenders to complete a sex-based probation for the new charge.
Contact An Attorney
Registering as a sex offender is required by law once convicted and the deregistering process is complicated. Reach out to a lawyer if you have any questions or plan to proceed with de-registration. Having a qualified and competent sex offender attorney on your side could increase the likelihood of getting your petition granted.
By Shannon Lynch