Sex Crimes FAQ
It is not hyperbole in the least to state that a sex crimes conviction – maybe even just an accusation – can end life as you know it. We hope the answers to these frequently asked questions can help you get a grasp on your situation as well as your options for protecting yourself and your family.
Do I Need To Call A Lawyer?
Yes, as soon as possible. Whether you have been accused, have reason to believe you are under investigation, or you have been arrested, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for you.
Failure to take action can result in consequences that will haunt you for the rest of your life, keep you away from your children, and limit your movement in your community.
Will I Have To Register As A Sex Offender?
If you are convicted of a sexually-based offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender. This will have far-reaching consequences for you, including making it next to impossible to find employment and housing, and make you a pariah in your community.
It is crucial to do everything you can – including hiring an attorney – while you still have a chance to minimize the damage and avoid this fate.
When Do Texts Cross the Line?
Sexting and texting have received considerable media attention recently, but it’s important to take a step back and understand what those words mean. The conduct at issue can include:
- Trafficking and distributing child pornography
- Indecent exposure
- Child enticement
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Internet sexual exploitation of a child
Sexting describes the act of sending and receiving sexually explicit content by cellphone or tablet. The content can be anything from naked photos, to sexual video clips to sexually explicit language.
When Does Sexting Lead to Sex Charges In Colorado?
You see, if a girl under 18 sends naked or sexually explicit photos of herself, she is technically distributing child pornography since she herself is a child in the eyes of the law, and she can be charged with sexual exploitation of a child in Denver (CRS 18-6-403). And if her boyfriend then responds back in a soliciting manner suggesting they meet somewhere or asking for more, then he is committing Internet sexual exploitation of a child (CRS 18-3-405.4). We often see Internet luring of a child in Jefferson County (CRS 18-3-306) or enticement of a child in Douglas County (CRS 18-3-301) cases filed that start out with some simple texting and sexting in Colorado.
Due to the many sexting and child pornography cases that we have handled, our Larimer County and Boulder sex crimes lawyers and our criminal defense sex assault attorneys often see these types of cases spiral out of control quickly due to the tendency of teenagers to forward photos and videos to each other in mass numbers in a high school setting. Many times the young boyfriend of the girl, then inappropriately forwards the illegal photo of his girlfriend in a mass email to the whole football or soccer or wrestling team that he plays on. He is thinking that this sexting is “cool” or “funny.” And in short order, half the class in high school or middle school is in possession of child pornography in Highlands Ranch, Littleton or Commerce City and in violation of Internet sexual exploitation of a child in Colorado (CRS 18-3-405.4).
Is Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification A Felony In Colorado?
The first time a person is charged with invasion of privacy for sexual gratification in Jefferson County, it is a class 1 misdemeanor. However, the misdemeanor is considered an extraordinary risk crime and carries with it up to two years in county jail or serious sex offender probation utilizing the SOMB (Sex Offender Management Board) guidelines.
If a person has a prior conviction of this sex crime in Colorado and he or she is charged a second time, or even if this is the first time a person is charged with this sex crime, but the named victim is under 15 years of age, it is charged as a felony. The felony invasion of privacy for sexual gratification is a very serious crime and is considered an extraordinary risk crime in Denver. What that means is that you will be subject to potential extended prison time and would have to face felony sex offender probation (SOISP).
What Constitutes Indecent Exposure?
While there are different ways to be charged with indecent exposure. In general a person commits indecent exposure if he or she exposes his or her genitals to the view of another person with the purpose of either shocking or alarming them or for sexual gratification or for both reasons
However, often indecent exposure charges result from accidental exposure, playful encounters and other “gray area” incidents like:
- Misunderstandings in dorm and college settings
- Mooning and streaking
- Unintentional exposure due to unawareness of other people’s presence or to problems with garments
Indecent exposure is usually a class one misdemeanor (M1) and carries with it all the inherent risks and pitfalls of most other sex crimes, to include sex offender registration in Colorado, sex offender probation, extensive potential incarceration, and many other restrictions on your social life, and interaction with society and your local community. Sometimes however indecent exposure can be charged as a felony.
What Is the Sentence For Public Indecency in Colorado?
If you are facing your second charge and already have a conviction of this crime on your record, then you will be treated as a sex offender. If convicted, you will be required to register as a sex offender, you will have to serve up to two years in county jail. If you are lucky, you will receive a probation sentence (that may still include some jail) and will be forced to enter sex offender probation treatment as outlined by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).
What Is The Sex Offender Management Board?
In the 1990s, the Colorado state legislature promulgated laws that formed what is today known as the SOMB (Sex Offender Management Board). The SOMB employs a list of requirements known as the 5.7 criteria or standards. These criteria are the minimum amount of sex offender probation that a defendant has to satisfy before probation considers letting them close their case. Statistically, most people who receive indeterminate sentences end up in prison for a long time.
What Is The Sentence For Felony Sex Assault In Colorado?
Sexual assault at the felony level, convictions in Larimer County, Weld County or Douglas County carry with them potential lifetime sex offender registration, a ban on Internet and computer use, curfews, possible share living arrangements with other Colorado sex offenders, and an order by the court and your sex offense probation officer that you have to move out of your home and can no longer see your kids or date or marry anybody until you are given permission to do so.
If a person is charged and convicted with an F4 sex crime, the judge sometimes has the option of handing out a probation sentence. This sentence usually carries with it a 10-year to life probation sentence. Any of the sentences handed out by a judge that carry the word “life” in their sentencing guidelines are called “indeterminate sentences.”
Is Sexual Assault On A Client by a Psychotherapist A Felony?
We have seen felony charges result from sexual intrusion, penetration, or acts between a patient and his or her mental health professional when the patient is alleging that there was force involved. This class 4 felony is a heavy duty felony that carries with it the full weight of the Colorado felony sex offender punishments.
The tough part for most people to appreciate is often the person who is making the allegation is mentally disturbed or even “not all there.” What they may perceive happened may not even have happened. But once the allegation of a sexual assault in Denver County or Douglas County is made, you will likely be arrested by the sheriff or police, taken to a jail, and treated like a sex offender before the process has even begun. Too often in Colorado, the courts treat people charged with sex crimes like they are guilty until proven innocent.
What If The Accusations Against Me Are False?
You’re not alone. People are falsely accused of sex crimes such as rape or child molestation routinely. That’s what it’s so important to have an attorney on your side who will make sure the burden of proof remains on the prosecution. You are innocent until proven guilty, and we will go to great lengths to protect your rights, your reputation, and your freedom.
When it comes to sex crimes, don’t leave any ambiguity about your future. Contact us anytime for a free, confidential consultation with a proven criminal defense lawyer.