A person that has been arrested and charged for a sex offense is entitled to a criminal defense attorney in Denver to see to their case and represent their interests in court. However, if such a person has been found guilty of the offense, there is a need to understand what the different levels of sex offenders are and what each level means.

Even as early as the charge sheet, the defendant will have been allocated into a specific level based on the alleged crimes he or she may have been charged with. Each level assigned has different risks and designations attached to the sex offenders’ registry in the state. The level to which a person is assigned will affect their chances of being kept around or away from certain groups and school locations.

What Sex Crimes Make Someone A sex offender?

A person is regarded as a sex offender when he or she has been convicted/adjudicated of the following;

–  Sex offense

– Any criminal offense if the person has a prior conviction of a sex offense in the state of Colorado or any other jurisdiction, or if the person has a prior history of sex offenses.

–  Any criminal offense in the state of Colorado with an undertone involving sex offense.

A juvenile who has also committed a sex offense can be regarded as a sex offender.

A sex offense as defined by 16-11.7-102(3)(a) C.R.S. includes 25 different felony and misdemeanor sex offense crimes. These offenses include; sexual contact with minors, use of force and or coercion, familial sexual contact, using a position of trust to gain sexual favors, exploitation/trafficking/child prostitution, and use of the internet for a sex crime such as luring minors and child sexual abuse, child pornography and more.

After Conviction

If a person has been convicted for sex crimes in the state of Colorado, or if the person has entered a plea, the defendant will be required by law to undergo a sex offense-specific evaluation. The evaluation will include evaluation for treatment, evaluation for risks and also the initiation of procedures for monitoring of such a person’s behavior to protect victims and potential victims.

The evaluation phase is conducted with the sole aim to identify the level of risk which is posed by the defendant and specific factors that require attention during treatment and supervision. The results obtained during this evaluation is used in making recommendations to the court regarding specific judgments like sentencing, treatment, supervision and more.

Court Sentencing

A sex offender may be sentenced to parole, probation, community correction jail, or the Department of Corrections in the prison. For juvenile offenders, they can also be sentenced to the Division of Youth Services in the Department of Human Services. While under supervision, an offender will also be required to undergo treatment.

Registration With the State

When someone has entered a plea or has been convicted of a sex offense or other violations, such a person will be made to register with the sex offenders’ registration database. This registration is made mandatory based on the type of crime which the person has committed. In some cases, sex offenders are made to register for crimes that are more serious than sexual assault, molestation or a minor, or solicitation of sex using computers. In some states, certain legal violations may lead to charges which may result in an individual registering as part of the state’s sex offenders.

Risk Level and Classifications

The court will be in charge of the assessment of the risk levels of the defendant. The risk level is based on the likelihood of the person committing the same offense again. When a defendant is seen as most likely to commit the offense again, they are regarded as a high risk to the community and the society in general. Offenders with multiple convictions for a similar crime would be regarded as an important high risk to society, which means that they are most likely to commit the same crime when not in jail.

The Risk Levels

A sex offender is classified into one of three primary risk levels. The first level is the low-risk level which indicates the individual’s low chances of repeating the offense for which they have been arrested or other similar offenses. The second level is the moderate risk level where the offender is seen as having a higher chance of repeating the offense for which he or she has been arrested. The third level is the highest risk classification where the defendant is regarded as most likely to repeat the offense when not in jail. The risk level is allotted based on the amount of information which is available to the court. The classification can also affect factors like the interim before registration.

Designation With a Risk Level

There are also other classifications which are higher than the primary risk levels. These designations include sexual predicator, predicate sexual offender, and sexual violator. The classifications affect the time of registration as the first level can require as much as 20 years registration, second and third as much as life registration.

Any designation higher than the three mentioned level may also require life registration especially depending on the crimes the person committed against another.

Relief From the Registry

A person that is on level two or lower and has not received any designation of any sort can petition for relief from the sex offenders’ registry. A person who wishes to seek relief from the registry cannot have been classified as a sexual predator, a violent person or a predicate sex offender. Also, the registration of such a person must have not exceeded a period of 30 years. The court is in charge of such a decision as this and may grant relief to a person who has remained law-abiding and has not had any other close shave with a crime.

Legal Support

When a person has been convicted for sex offenses, such a person will need the services of an experienced lawyer to help them support the case and seek relief as at when due or help such a client modify their risk level using their legal knowledge.  

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.