Archive for the ‘ Sex Crimes ’ Category

Getting Off The Sex Registry List – Is It Possible?

Posted on: February 16, 2019 by in Sex Crimes
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If you are convicted for a sex crime charge in the state of Colorado, you will probably be ordered by the court to register as a sex offender on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry, which is available to the public.

Exactly who is required to register as a sex offender in Colorado? Is someone’s registration as a sex offender “for life,” or is there a way that someone can be removed from the state’s sex offender registry? How complicated is the process of getting off the list? Can sex crimes law firm in Denver help?

If you are a registered sex offender, you may be able to get off the sex offender registry. Not every offender can be removed, and those who can will have to meet some requirements.

WHO MUST REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER?

Obviously, to get off Colorado’s sex offender registry, you must be on it. You are required to register as a sex offender in Colorado if:

  • You were convicted on or after July 1, 1991, of a sexual offense in Colorado.
  • You were convicted on or after July 1, 1991, in another state or federal jurisdiction of a crime that would have constituted a sexual offense in Colorado.
  • You were released on or after July 1, 1991, from any state’s Department of Corrections after serving a sentence for a sexual offense.
  • Or on or after July 1, 1994, you were convicted of, or released after completing a sentence for, the commission of or the attempt to commit a sexual offense.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE COLORADO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY?

The state’s sex offender registry is used by the public and by Colorado’s police agencies. It allows anyone to search for convicted sex offenders living nearby. If you are a convicted sex offender in Colorado, details about you will not be publicly disclosed only for these reasons:

  • You were under the age of 18, and you were convicted as a juvenile.
  • You were convicted only of a misdemeanor sex offense.

However, in other cases, the state of Colorado may publicly disclose information about you including a photograph, a list of your convictions and their dates, your classification (if it’s applicable) as a violent sexual predator or a multiple offender, and other information about you.

If you’re ordered to register as a sex offender in Colorado, you must provide updates to the registry either quarterly or annually, depending on the details of the conviction. Sex offenders also must provide updates whenever they change their address or change their name.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF A SEX OFFENDER FAILS TO REGISTER IN COLORADO?

Of course, no one wants to be on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry, but failure to register as a sex offender is a Class 6 felony. A conviction for failure to register can be penalized with a fine from $1,000 to $100,000 and/or twelve to eighteen months in prison.

If you are arrested and charged with any sex crime in the greater Denver area – or anywhere else in this state – you must be advised and represented by an experienced sex crimes attorney. Contact that attorney immediately. Your future will be at stake.

Sex crimes are aggressively prosecuted, and no one who is convicted of a sex crime should expect leniency from a Colorado criminal court. A sex crime conviction will probably affect you for the rest of your life. You must be represented by a skilled and accomplished defense attorney.

HOW LONG DOES AN OFFENDER STAY ON THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY?

If the state of Colorado has determined that you are a sexually violent predator, if you have more than one sex crime conviction, or if you were convicted of sexual assault, incest, or aggravated incest, you will remain on the Colorado sex offender registry for the rest of your life.

Others on the sex offender registry may have their names removed after the following lengths of time:

  • for a conviction for a Class 1, 2, or 3 felony: twenty years
  • for a conviction for a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony, a Class 1 misdemeanor, sexual assault in the third degree, or unlawful sexual contact: ten years
  • for convictions for other misdemeanors: five years

HOW CAN A SEX CRIMES LAW FIRM HELP?

Even when you qualify to have your name removed from the Colorado sex offender registry, the process is quite complicated, and you’ll need the guidance and services that a reliable criminal defense lawyer provides.

A skilled Denver sex crimes attorney can ensure that you satisfy the requirements and properly complete the paperwork to have your name removed from the sex offender registry.

HOW IS SOMEONE’S NAME REMOVED FROM THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY?

Before you can file your petition with the court, you ‘ll have to notify the parties listed here that you intend to have your name removed from the sex offender registry:

  • each law enforcement agency you are required to register with
  • the prosecuting attorney in each jurisdiction of each of those law enforcement agencies
  • the prosecuting attorney who obtained your adjudication or conviction

After you have submitted your petition to the court, a hearing will be scheduled. At that hearing, a judge will decide if you can be removed from the sex offender registry. If the judge rules in your favor, he or she will sign an Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration.

You’ll need to send a copy of that order to the law enforcement agencies that you listed in your petition to the court, and you’ll also need to send a copy to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

IS A FEE CHARGED FOR REMOVAL FROM THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY?

For Colorado residents, no fee is required for filing your petition with the court. Copying fees may be charged for some of the documents that may be required. If you reside in another state that requires you to register as a sex offender because of a Colorado conviction, the fee is $224.

courthouse columns

If you are charged with a sex crime, get aggressive legal help immediately. Prosecutors in Colorado take sex offenses seriously, and defendants are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

In that situation, your best hope for staying out of jail – and for staying off the sex offender registry – is to be represented by an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer. If your freedom and future are on the line, do not wait. Reach out at once for the legal help you need.

What Are Your Options When You’re Arrested For Prostitution?

Posted on: January 18, 2019 by in Sex Crimes
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scales and balance

Prostitution is a crime in the state of Colorado, but if someone is arrested and charged with prostitution, that person may be innocent. People are sometimes arrested for prostitution on the basis of misunderstandings, misidentifications, and even stories that are entirely fabricated.

What is the definition of prostitution in this state? What are the penalties if someone is convicted of prostitution? And if you are charged and prosecuted for the crime, what can you do to defend yourself? How can a Denver sex crimes law firm help?

Colorado makes it against the law for anyone to offer, perform, or agree to perform any of the following acts for money or items of value such as drugs: fellatio, masturbation, cunnilingus, sexual intercourse, or anal intercourse.

HOW IS PROSTITUTION HANDLED IN COLORADO?

Prostitution is classified as a Class Three misdemeanor in Colorado. A conviction for a first prostitution offense in this state is punishable with a fine ranging from $50 to $750 and/or a jail term of up to six months.

police

However, prostitution while infected with an HIV infection is a Class Five felony, punishable upon conviction by one to three years in prison and/or a fine from $1,000 to $100,000.

If you are a professional in Colorado, you need to know that prostitution is considered a crime of “moral turpitude,” and your licensing board will very likely suspend or revoke your professional license if you are convicted of prostitution or a related crime.

If you are an immigrant in Colorado, you need to know that prostitution is also considered a crime of moral turpitude by the U.S. immigration authorities, which means that a prostitution conviction can cause someone who holds a visa or a green card to be deported from the U.S.

HOW CAN A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM IN COLORADO HELP?

For professionals, immigrants, and many others in our state, pleading guilty to a prostitution charge simply is not an option. If you are charged with prostitution in the state of Colorado, you must reach out for legal help – at once – to an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney.

A good criminal defense lawyer will investigate the charge against you, protect your legal rights, review your options, and help you determine the best way to move forward.

The legal defenses that can be offered against a prostitution charge include:

  • You didn’t offer to perform any illegal sex act for money.
  • You didn’t ask for anything of monetary value in exchange for sex.
  • You are the victim of a misunderstanding, misidentification, or an outright fabrication.
  • You were entrapped by the police, and you broke the law only because of their influence.

A good criminal defense lawyer will craft a defense strategy for you based on the details of your individual case. In some prostitution cases, the police may have had no probable cause to make an arrest. In other cases, the state may have no persuasive evidence of guilt.

WHAT CAN BE THE RESULTS IN PROSTITUTION CASES?

To win a conviction, the state has to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that can be difficult when the charge is prostitution. In fact, in many of these cases – and especially in cases involving first offenses – an attorney may be able to have the charge dropped.

gavel

A diversion program may also be offered to first offenders. If a diversion program is completed successfully, the charge will be dropped, and the defendant can petition the court to seal the arrest record. If the program is not successfully completed, the criminal prosecution will proceed.

IS THERE ANY LEGAL PROSTITUTION IN COLORADO?

In spite of the rumors and legends, there are no legal brothels in Colorado, and prostitution is illegal in every jurisdiction in the state. Brothels and prostitution play a notable and colorful part in the history of the Old West, but they have been illegal in Colorado for more than a century.

handcuffs and law books

That hasn’t stopped the ongoing effort to decriminalize prostitution in Colorado. The Libertarian Party and other groups are conducting ongoing lobbying and petition campaigns to decriminalize prostitution, but no proposals have been introduced to or considered by Colorado’s lawmakers.

WHAT ARE “PROSTITUTION-RELATED” CRIMES?

As you might imagine, soliciting a prostitute is also against the law in Colorado. Soliciting a prostitute happens when someone:

  • solicits another person to commit an act of prostitution
  • arranges or offers to arrange a meeting for the purposes of prostitution
  • directs another person to a location for the purposes of prostitution

Soliciting a prostitute in Colorado is a misdemeanor. Like prostitution itself, a conviction for a first soliciting offense in this state is punishable with a fine ranging from $50 to $750 and/or a jail term of up to six months.

WHAT IS “PATRONIZING” A PROSTITUTE?

“Patronizing” a prostitute is a separate crime in Colorado. Patronizing occurs when anyone engages in a sex act with a prostitute or enters and/or remains in a place of prostitution with the intent to engage in a sex act with a prostitute.

Patronizing a prostitute in this state is a Class One misdemeanor. A conviction for a first patronizing offense is punishable with a fine from $500 to $5,000 and/or a jail term of six to eighteen months.

HOW IS PIMPING DEALT WITH IN COLORADO?

The crime of pimping is classified as a Class Three felony in Colorado. A conviction for a first pimping offense is punishable with a fine from $3,000 to $750,000 and/or a prison term of four to twelve years.

jail fence

A number of other sex crimes are also prosecuted in Colorado, including:

  • indecent exposure
  • unlawful sexual contact
  • sexual assault using force
  • sexual assault using means other than force
  • sexual assault on a child
  • sexual assault by a physician or therapist against a patient
  • sexual assault where the accuser was intoxicated and thus lacked the ability to consent

If you are charged or even suspected of any kind of sex crime, it can be a traumatic, wrenching experience. You must have a good attorney’s help.

If you are charged with prostitution or with any other sex crime in this state, arrange immediately to discuss your case with an experienced Denver sex crimes attorney. A good attorney’s help is your right.

Colorado’s Revenge Porn Laws

Posted on: October 16, 2017 by in Sex Crimes
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Could you be a victim of “revenge” porn? Is there a specific law against revenge porn here in Colorado? How much legal protection do victims have?

And what if you are accused of posting revenge porn in the state of Colorado? What does it require to convict someone for posting revenge porn, and what criminal penalties will a convicted offender face? Can a domestic violence law firm in Colorado help?

It’s a growing concern everywhere. Revenge porn has been banned by the military, Facebook is fighting it, and revenge porn cases are flooding both the civil and criminal courts.

And it can happen to anyone – actresses, other celebrities, and apparently in Colorado, scores of innocent, regular people too. Since this state’s revenge porn statute took effect three years ago, 192 misdemeanor revenge porn charges have been filed by Colorado prosecutors.

However, according to the Denver Post, only about one-third of those revenge porn charges – about 36 percent – resulted in convictions.

In some cases, charges were dismissed, and in other cases, defendants were offered and accepted plea bargains.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann voted in favor of the law as a legislator back in 2014. She says, “Dismissals are unusual, but a vast majority of our cases will end up in plea agreements.”

WHY ARE REVENGE PORN CASES TOUGH TO PROVE?

Why are there so many plea agreements in revenge porn cases? A revenge porn charge is always difficult to prove, and the Colorado law – according to some observers – is a particularly weak statute.

When revenge porn is posted online, proving who posted it sometimes cannot be done. It’s often simply one person’s word against another person’s; establishing proof beyond a reasonable doubt may be impossible.

Does the new law, then, offer victims of revenge porn any genuine legal protections at all? Not in some cases, while in other scenarios, the law really is not precise or comprehensive.

It does not, for example, extend to photographs or videos of someone who is wearing clothes, even if that person is engaged in a sexual act.

And even if a perpetrator who posts revenge porn is identified, that doesn’t necessarily mean the material is erased from the internet.

A victim of revenge porn may have to obtain a court order which compels websites to remove the revenge porn material.

The sad reality, however, is that some items may be so extensively copied or “mirrored” online that they are never really, fully, entirely removed from the internet.

IS REVENGE PORN WIDESPREAD? HOW ARE LAWMAKERS RESPONDING?

According to the non-profit Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, one in eight users of social media has been victimized by nonconsensual pornography.

In 2016, federal legislation to criminalize the distribution of explicit images of someone without that person’s permission was introduced in the House of Representatives and is now being considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

Some type of revenge porn law, however, is already on the books in 38 of the 50 states.

The lack of assured anonymity for alleged victims is a major concern for the critics of Colorado’s revenge porn law.

Even when a revenge porn victim is not named in the court documents, there may be enough facts in those documents – which must identify a defendant – to point to a particular victim.

In fact, some Colorado attorneys who represent alleged revenge porn victims are bypassing the criminal statute entirely and are instead suing the alleged perpetrators in Colorado’s civil courts – for violation of privacy or for defamation of character.

Nevertheless, while the Colorado revenge porn statute may be considered “weak” by some, of the 117 cases that have been resolved since the law took effect, 42 have ended with a conviction or a guilty plea.

HOW CAN A DEFENSE ATTORNEY HELP?

If you are accused of posting revenge porn in Colorado – or charged with any crime related to pornography and the internet – arrange at once to speak with a qualified Denver criminal defense attorney.

It is imperative to have a criminal defense lawyer advising you, protecting your rights, and fighting for justice on your behalf as early as possible.

The 2014 Colorado law makes it a Class One misdemeanor to publish explicit images of someone without that person’s consent. In addition to any other sentence the court may deem proper, upon conviction the defendant shall be fined up to $10,000.

Someone who has been the victim of revenge porn in Colorado may also bring a civil lawsuit against the person who posted the images.

If you are charged in a revenge porn case in Colorado, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney advocating on your behalf.

It is possible, for example, that another person may have posted the revenge porn from your own computer or even from some other device without your consent or knowledge.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER DEFENSES AGAINST A REVENGE PORN CHARGE?

If law enforcement officers violated your rights while gathering evidence to build a revenge porn case against you, that charge can probably be dismissed.

Sometimes a revenge porn allegation is simply the result of a mistake or a misunderstanding, with no criminal intent.

Even so, if you are the defendant, you’ll need to have a skilled Denver criminal defense lawyer handle your case, protect your rights, and if necessary, defend you against the charge in a criminal trial.

Colorado is not the only state where some have contended that revenge porn laws are ambiguously written and difficult to enforce.

Arizona’s law, for instance, was characterized by the American Civil Liberties Union as an unconstitutional imposition on free speech.

Prosecutors feel their hands are somewhat tied, since the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 prohibits any prosecution of website owners for third-party content.

If you are accused of an online crime – whether it’s revenge porn, child porn, a financial crime, or some other computer-related misdemeanor or felony, seek legal help at once.

Innocent people are sometimes confused or cajoled into clicking a link they shouldn’t click, and they can end up technically committing a crime without even realizing it.

Here in Colorado, if you are charged with any misdemeanor or felony related to revenge porn, computers, or the internet, retain the advice and services of a Denver criminal defense attorney at once. Don’t take any chances with your reputation, your record, and your future.

More Persons Challenge Sex Registry Laws

Posted on: January 28, 2015 by in Sex Crimes
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Denver sex crimes defense lawyers

It’s safe to say that sex offenses are some of the most reviled crimes. There are few categories of crimes in which a person who is accused of the crime, is simply seen as guilty. Certain types of sex crimes can result in stringent punishments that can completely alter the person’s ability to live a normal life, possibly permanently. As sex crimes lawyers, we know that offenders can be required to live out the rest of their lives as part of a national registry, which is very often publicly accessible. Registration in a sex offender registry is part of the penalty, for many types of sex crimes.

However, more and more persons are now challenging their inclusion in sex offender registries, which in most cases is permanent. Even when a conviction has occurred decades earlier, a person could continue to face the repercussions of the offense for many years later. Under Megan’s Law, Colorado authorities are required to provide the public information about any persons convicted of sex offenses, so anyone can access your information at any time. Registration in a sex offender registry can impact your ability to go to school, get a job, and your ability to marry, settle down and have children. It can affect your ability to live in the neighborhood of your choice, and your social and interpersonal relationships.

In Colorado, persons who are convicted of certain sex offenses, including Unlawful Sexual Contact or sex crimes involving minors are required to register in a sex offender registry. Other crimes that could land you on the sex offender registry include luring or enticing a child, sexual assault, incest, indecent exposure, and soliciting for child prostitution. The registry contains information about the person’s name, address, and the offense as well as photographs and aliases. If you are told to register but fail to do so, you face harsh consequences that could include jail time and fines. Persons on the sex offender registry are also responsible for keeping their information updated over time, and face consequences if they fail to do so. For example, if you move homes, you will need to update your address on the registry as soon as possible to avoid consequences. The laws are different in states like California,  so it is best to consult with a sex crimes attorney in Los Angeles, CA.

However, increasingly, a number of criminologists, lawyers, and sex offender registrants as well as their families are challenging the constitutionality of these laws. They claim that many of these laws that require persons convicted of sex offenses to be included in a sex offender registry, do very little to reduce overall crime rates as they are intended. Denver sex crimes defense lawyers find that very few sex offenses are committed by repeat offenders. In other words, most offenses are committed by new offenders, and persons who have already been convicted of an offense, are not very likely to become repeat offenders.

In spite of those facts and in spite of statistics finding that such stringent penalties do little to keep the public safer, Denver sex crimes defense lawyers find that these penalties continue to be applied often, with devastating consequences for the offender.