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.

By: Dan Murphy

Denver criminal defense lawyer Daniel M. Murphy provides clients in the Denver area with aggressive and sympathetic legal representation. He graduated from the University of Denver Law School in 1994 and worked as a public defender before starting his own practice in 1996. He has defended clients accused of the most difficult criminal and alcohol-related charges. He also serves as a Moot Court Judge for Denver-area law students who rely on his mentorship.