One of the worst parts of being convicted of a sex offense, especially a minor one, is having to register as a sex offender. However, in Colorado, there is a procedure to end the registration requirement. Here is what you need to know.
Having defended numerous people charged with a sex offense, overwhelmingly people find the worst punishment they face in these cases is having to register as a sex offender. This is especially true for what are considered minor offenses. For example, if you’re convicted in Colorado of “mooning” someone more than once within 5 years, you would need to register as a sex offender. Seriously. You’re now a sex offender if you moon someone twice in five years.
Timelines to Deregister in Colorado
In Colorado, the ability and timelines to deregister as a sex offender are set forth in the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS), § 16-22-113. Under this statute, a person may petition to deregister under five different timelines. These timelines are based on the severity of the offense. Additionally, unless otherwise noted, the timeline begins
“from the date of . . . discharge from the department of corrections, if such person was sentenced to incarceration, or discharge from the department of human services, if such person was committed, or final release from the jurisdiction of the court for such offense, if such person has not subsequently been convicted of unlawful sexual behavior or of any other offense, the underlying factual basis of which involved unlawful sexual behavior.”
In other words, the time is not from the date of conviction but, instead, from the date at which you have finished your obligations to the court and the court has released jurisdiction.
As a general matter, the timelines are as follows. For a:
- Class 1, 2, or 3 Felony – 20 years from completion of your obligations to the court and release of jurisdiction;
- Class 4, 5, 6 Felony or Class 1 Misdemeanor – 10 years from completion of your obligations to the court and release of jurisdiction;
- Misdemeanor other than a Class 1 – 5 years from completion of your obligations to the court and release of jurisdiction;
- If required to register as part of a deferred judgement or sentence, after the successful completion of the deferred judgment and sentence or deferred adjudication and dismissal of the case; and
- If younger than eighteen years of age at the time of commission of the offense, after the successful completion of and discharge from a juvenile sentence or disposition.
Of course, each of these timelines require that you have not been subsequently convicted of another sex offense. Additionally, it is important to note that there are several people who may never deregister, including anyone who is deemed a sexually violent predator or is convicted of:
- Sexual assault, in violation of section 18-3-402, C.R.S., or sexual assault in the first degree, in violation of section 18-3-402, C.R.S., as it existed prior to July 1, 2000, or sexual assault in the second degree, in violation of section 18-3-403, C.R.S., as it existed prior to July 1, 2000; or
- Sexual assault on a child, in violation of section 18-3-405, C.R.S.;
- Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, in violation of section 18-3-405.3, C.R.S.;
- Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist, in violation of section 18-3-405.5, C.R.S.;
- Incest, in violation of section 18-6-301, C.R.S.;
- Aggravated incest, in violation of section 18-6-302, C.R.S.; or
- Any adult who has more than one conviction or adjudication for unlawful sexual behavior in this state or any other jurisdiction.
The Process of Deregistering in Colorado
There are many (many) steps in the process of deregistering. As noted in CRS 16-22-113(2)(a),
“Prior to filing a petition pursuant to this section, the petitioner shall notify each of the following parties by certified mail of the petitioner’s intent to file a request pursuant to this section:
(I) Each local law enforcement agency with which the petitioner is required to register;
(II) The prosecuting attorney for the jurisdiction in which each such local law enforcement agency is located; and
(III) The prosecuting attorney who obtained the conviction for which the petitioner is required to register.”
Put simply, you must notify the agencies who were/are involved in your conviction and ongoing registration of your intent to petition for deregistration. Additionally, once the notifications have occurred and you have provided proof to the court of the notifications, then:
“Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the victim of the offense for which the petitioner was required to register, if the victim of the offense has requested notice and has provided current contact information.”
As you can see, there are many hoops to jump though. Nevertheless, it is worth it get your life back on track. If you are interested in de-registering, give my office a call. I’d welcome the opportunity to help you move forward in your life.
 See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 16-22-103; see also Colo. Rev. Stat. § 16-22-102 (defining “unlawful sexual behavior” as “public indecency” if twice within 5 years); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-7-301 (defining “public indecency” as lewd exposure of “intimate parts” under CRS 13-3-401); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-3-401 (defining “intimate parts” as “the external genitalia or the perineum or the anus or the buttocks or the pubes or the breast of any person.”) (emphasis added).