Denver Sex Charges Have Severe Consequences – Protect Your Future
Few criminal charges in Colorado bring the immediate negative visceral reaction that sex crimes do. People hear that someone has been accused of a sex offense and immediately assume that the individual is guilty. If you are arrested for an illegal sex act, it can easily lead to you being shunned by friends, family members, and coworkers alike – and may even cost you your job.
Fortunately, under the law and despite societal opinion, you are innocent until proven guilty, and a charge is not a conviction. This is incredibly important to remember, because far too many people crumble under the pressure put on them by police officers, prosecutors, and others, and end up admitting guilt in an effort to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
Before you buckle under the pressure, get in touch with our office. The experienced Denver sex crimes attorneys at WeedenLaw have been fighting for the rights of the accused for years, and they understand what it takes to protect your rights and make sure you receive fair treatment and the best chance at a positive outcome.
What Constitutes a Sex Crime?
Sexual offenses in Colorado are separated into three categories: sexual assault, sexual contact, and sexual assault on a child, according to the Colorado Revised Statutes. Penetration or incursion are two terms used to describe sexual assault. Rape, anal rape, forced copulation, and penetration with a foreign object are all examples.
Sexual contact is any unwanted sexual contact (sexual battery). It entails genital groping and fondling.
Sexual offenses in Colorado incur harsh consequences. Felony sex offenses come with long prison sentences and a substantial fine, as well as the requirement to register as a sex offender for what is typically the remainder of your life. With this in mind, the consequences of a sex crimes charge can haunt you for years to come. You need dedicated and experienced sex crimes attorneys on your side to help mitigate the extent of these potential penalties.
Types of Sex Crimes
In Colorado, as well as many other states, there are a number of behaviors and actions that constitute a sex crime. These crimes include the following:
- Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is a broad phrase that refers to crimes that involve unwelcome or inappropriate sexual contact. Sexual assault charges in Colorado can range from assault to battery to rape, with penalties ranging depending on a variety of “aggravating” conditions such as the use of violence, a lethal weapon, date rape drugs, etc.
- Statutory Rape: The age of consent in Colorado is 15, but the age of the older party determines whether Colorado statutory rape charges apply (even if no force was used).
- Sexual Assault on a Child: Child sexual abuse and child molestation in Colorado are covered under § 18-3-405. The statute is titled Sexual assault on a child, and it says: “(1) Any actor who knowingly subjects another not his or her spouse to any sexual contact commits sexual assault on a child if the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.”
- Indecent Exposure: When a person willfully exposes his or her genitals to cause alarm or offend another.
- Public Indecency: When someone shows private parts (other than their genitals) in an obscene manner in public, this is considered public indecency in Colorado. This includes public sex, but excludes practices like public breastfeeding.
- Prostitution: Prostitution charges in Colorado include offenses like solicitation (selling sex), patronizing (paying for sex), and pimping (when a third party solicits customers on behalf of a prostitute).
- Internet Luring: An adult interacting over a computer or other data network with a person who the adult knows or thinks is under the age of 15, describes explicit sexual conduct, and seeks to meet (in person) for any reason.
- Sexting: Sexing in Colorado usually entails sending nude or semi-nude photographs or explicit communications through a mobile device, email, or other communications network. Sexting between consenting adults is not illegal; however, when a child is involved, this behavior can be charged as child online exploitation.
- Child Pornography: The production, dissemination, and procurement of child pornography in Colorado are all prohibited. The amount of pornography in question, as well as prior criminal offenses, are examples of “aggravating” factors that could lead to harsher punishments and sentences.
Call a Colorado criminal defense lawyer at WeedenLaw if you have inquiries about criminal charges. Sex crimes are serious offenses that can ruin your reputation, financial prospects, and ability to work and live in a community.
What are Federal Sex Crimes?
A federal court will punish any offense that violates United States legislation or federal law. In some cases, the case may be a state crime, but there are additional requirements that make it a federal offense.
Title 18 of the United States Code includes a wide range of federal sex crimes violations. The majority of sex offenses involving minors are prosecuted at the federal level and are frequently punished much more harshly than other sexually-related crimes. A minor is described as somebody under the age of 18, but in other situations, the age may be as young as 16.
More serious sex crimes are also handled at the federal level, such as aggravated sexual assault, human trafficking, sexual abuse that results in death, sexual crimes that are not limited to a single U.S. state, sexual crimes that occur on federal land or territory, and an offender with more than one offense.
What is the Age of Consent in Colorado?
The age of consent in Colorado is 15 years of age. Even if the victim grants consent to the act of sex, the law maintains that the victim is not old enough to consent to sex if he or she is below the age of consent. Furthermore, if the victim lies about his or her age and the defendant is not aware of their actual age, this is not a defense to the act of sex with a minor under Colorado Law.
Statutory Rape Laws in Colorado
In Colorado, it is considered statutory rape (a misdemeanor) if the minor is between the ages of 15 and 17, and the accused is 10 years older than the victim. Additionally, if the minor is under the age of 15, it is a more serious felony level offense known as Sexual Assault On A Child. All sexual acts involving minors are presumed to be coerced under statutory rape legislation – even if both parties believe their participation is voluntary.
What are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in Colorado?
A sex crime can result in municipal, misdemeanor, or felony penalties. Penalties and punishment are determined by the nature of the offense(s), the ages of those involved, aggravating factors such as prior criminal history, the use of force/violence, and the location of the act, among other things.
Sexual assault is considered a felony in Colorado. Penalties for rape and other forms of sexual assault include a prison sentence anywhere between 4-12 years and a maximum fine of $750,000. However, when aggravating factors are involved, the penalties may increase to 24 years or more imprisonment and a fine of up to one million dollars. Most felony offenses are subject to mandatory lifetime monitoring and sex offender registration.
Additional consequences for Colorado sex crimes may include, but are not limited to:
- Mandatory drug testing
- Mandatory treatment
- Loss of parental rights
- Community supervision
- Polygraph testing
If you or a loved one is facing criminal accusations related to a sex crime, speak with the knowledgable sex crimes attorneys at WeedenLaw immediately to learn more about the charges you face and your legal options.
How Do I Fight Sex Crime Charges?
The best defenses to rape and sexual assault charges in Colorado are determined by the facts of your case. You may have a viable defense if your attorney can prove there was no sex or sexual contact, the sex was consensual, or you reasonably didn’t realize the alleged victim didn’t or couldn’t consent. Sex crimes attorneys have specialized experience to help you defend yourself against sex crime charges, but to craft a strategic and personalized defense, you must first discuss with them the specifics of your case.
Can Sex Crime Charges be Expunged?
Even if you have completed probation, it is usually not possible to expunge or “seal” a conviction from your criminal record in Colorado. You can possibly have your records sealed if you were arrested but not charged with a crime, or if you were arrested and charged with a crime but not convicted. After the arrest or charge is sealed, it’s as if it never happened, and you’re not required to reveal the information if you’re asked about it. However, it is not possible to seal a record if it contains convictions for offenses based on unlawful sexual behavior. A Denver expungement attorney like Jeff Weeden can better inform you on the requirements for record sealing/expungement as well as help you determine whether your charge can be removed from your permanent criminal record.
What To Do After Being Arrested for a Sex Crime
There are likely a million thoughts running through your head after receiving a sex crime charge in Colorado. However, the best thing you can do in this situation is to keep calm, keep a clear mind, and call an expert sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
Law enforcement officers try their best to get suspects talking before they get a lawyer. Having the renowned Denver criminal defense attorneys at WeedenLaw by your side can short-circuit these types of tactics. Also, remember that putting together a winning strategy to fight criminal charges takes time. The earlier the team at WeedenLaw can start working on your case, the more likely they will be able to:
- Collect specific types of helpful evidence that may be impossible to use after a certain amount of time has passed.
- Coordinate with the various official offices to track down records, evidence, and more.
- Locate witnesses and be able to bring them in.
- Bring in an expert, if necessary, to testify in your favor.
Call the Colorado Sex Crimes Attorneys at WeedenLaw ASAP
A sex crime charge carries with it a tremendous stigma that can follow a person for the rest of their lives. Sex crimes lawyer Jeff Weeden is ready and waiting to help you protect your rights and fight for your future, and he has the legal knowledge and skill to give you the best possible chance at a positive outcome in your case.
Contact our law office in Denver immediately for a free consultation by calling 720-893-3831 or completing our simple online case review form.