Sex offenders come in all shapes and sizes. And, thanks to the complicated Sex Offender Registration laws of our state, it is easy to accidently slip up and forget to register in accord with the details of Colorado law. When this occurs, the price is high as police and sheriffs are anxious to charge you with Failure to Register, C.R.S. 18-3-412.5, a Colorado felony or misdemeanor.
Examples of Complicated Registration Rules
For example, did you know that some offenders need to register their chat room names, email addresses and phone numbers under C.R.S. 16-22-103? Other offenders don’t need to register these details. In other cases, men convicted of crimes like Internet Luring, C.R.S. 18-3-306 or Incest, C.R.S. 18-6-301, need to register quarterly (every three months), while other offenders who have been convicted of crimes like Unlawful Sexual Contact, C.R.S. 18-3-404 or Engaging in Sexual Conduct in a Correctional Institution, C.R.S. 18-7-701, register one time annually. Next, some sex offenders need to register for a lifetime and will have their information posted on the internet, while others only need to register for a limited time period and will not have their identity and crime listed on the internet. Finally, when you want to deregister after your time is up, you are required to file a Petition to Deregister and go to a judge for permission to stop. This creates more work for an already over burdened court system.
Complicated Rules Which Frequently Change are Hard to Remember
Colorado law makers assume men and women are sophisticated enough to know and remember these complicated details. Yet, I can tell you it is a chore for me as a trained sexual offense lawyer to remember them all. And, once I understand them, the legislature will hear about an offense in some far off state and change Colorado’s law to deter that risk. Legislators are desperate to make it appear to voters that they are doing something worthwhile. Restraining someone convicted of a sex offense is a popular course for elected officials to take because no one will oppose them – it is bad for reelection prospects.
Impossible to Comply with Registration Rules – Government is Largely to Blame
In the end, this system we have is a mess. We have lawmakers making themselves look good and the expense of sex offenders who have limited education and simply can’t follow our complicated laws. Next, we have the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB), who takes pleasure in finding new ways to prevent men and women from finding a job, keeping the job, and paying their bills. If they are lucky enough to be able to find employment, unrealistic restrictions on “no contact with kids” or “no travel” out of Denver, makes it impossible to keep the job. Without money, defendants can’t pay for treatment or probation, so we throw them in prison. In prison, they can’t pay to support their kids and the state must do so.
The bottom line as I see it is that judges, SOMB board members, DAs, probation officers, treatment providers and police are like leaches feeding off the mistakes of others. Rarely is public safety the true motive for locking people down so tight they can’t possibly comply. Usually, the motive is self-protection of their government jobs which allow them to feel important by abusing others.
Call our lawyers 24/7 at 303-731-0719 if you need help with a sex offender registration problem. While we don’t support these overly restrictive laws, we understand them and the motives of the people who enforce them. Above all else, if charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, keep quiet. The police are not your friend. Together, we can protect your future.