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In Colorado, sex crimes are taken very seriously. They carry harsh penalties, ranging from 6 months in prison to a lifetime sentence.

Understanding the laws governing sex offenders can get tricky. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of possible sexual assault charges in Colorado. We’ve also included a brief overview of the typical sentences and penalties associated with each crime.

Sexual Assault/Rape

There are many forms of sexual assault in Colorado. It is commonly defined as an instance in which the defendant knowingly penetrates or sexually intrudes upon a victim using the following means:

  • Forcing the victim to submit against their will
  • Knowing that the victim will submit because they mistakenly believe the defendant to be their spouse or significant other
  • Telling the victim that the sexual activity performed is actually a medical treatment

A defendant can also be convicted of sexual assault if any of the following are true of the victim:

  • They are unable to understand sexual contact, due either to their age or mental abilities
  • They are unconscious, sleeping, inebriated, or otherwise not in a state to give consent
  • They are 14 years old or younger and the defendant is 4 years or older and not a spouse
  • They are between 15-16 years old and the defendant is 10 years or older and not a spouse
  • They are confined to a jail, prison, hospital or other facility in which the defendant can use their authority to coerce the victim into sexual contact

Sexual Assault/Rape Sentencing and Penalties

Denver sexual assault defense attorneySexual assault and rape can range from Class 1 misdemeanors to Class 2 felonies, depending on the circumstances under which the crime was committed. Many of these crimes are subject to indeterminate sentencing. This is when the court imposes a minimum sentence but doesn’t require a maximum sentence, meaning that some sentences are lifelong.

Minimum sentences can range from 6 months to 48 years in prison. Sex offenses require defendants to register as a sex offender, some for the rest of their life. Sexual assault and rape sentences may also require the defendant to pay large fines and/or live under probation for the rest of their lives.

Unlawful Sexual Contact

This crime is defined as when the defendant knowingly touches the victim’s intimate areas or forces the victim to touch the defendant’s intimate areas for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. The defendant can be convicted of unlawful sexual contact if:

  • The victim doesn’t consent
  • The victim doesn’t understand sexual contact
  • The victim is unable to give consent for any reason
  • The victim is confined in an institution where the defendant has authority over them and is able to force the victim into sexual contact
  • The defendant uses drugs or other substances to impair the victim
  • The defendant claims the sexual act is part of a medical treatment
  • The defendant coerces someone under the age of 18 to expose themselves or commit a sexual act for the defendant’s gratification

Unlawful Sexual Contact Sentencing and Penalties

Typically, unlawful sexual contact will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor charge and an “extraordinary risk” crime. This ruling is punishable by 6 months to two years in jail.

If the contact is performed by means of threatening, forcing, or intimidating the victim, or if it involves a child or is done under the guise of a medical treatment, it will result in a Class 4 felony charge. This crime is typically punished by a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison. Additionally, defendants are required to register as sex offenders and may be sentenced with probation.

Sexual Crimes Against Children

A large majority of Colorado’s sexual assault laws address sex crimes committed against children. These crimes are, unfortunately, fairly common. Equally as unfortunate is that the rate of false accusations in these types of cases is abnormally high.

There are countless different types of sex crime against children. The following four are some of the most common child sex crimes we see as lawyers:

Enticement of a Child

Defendants may be convicted of enticing a child if they attempt or succeed in inviting or persuading a child under the age of 15 into a vehicle, building, or otherwise secluded place with the intent to commit sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact.

This crime is typically labeled a Class 4 felony, warranting a sentence a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, sex offender registration, and possible lifetime probation. If the offender has a previous conviction for enticement of a child, the second conviction will be a Class 3 felony. In that scenario, the defendant would receive at a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, required sex offender registration, and potentially lifetime probation.

Internet Luring of a Child

Internet luring of children is one of the most common sex crimes there is. It’s defined when an offender (4+ years older than the child) uses a computer to describe sexual acts or attempt to arrange a meeting with a child who is 15 years old or younger.

Convictions that are labeled Class 5 felonies will land the defendant in prison for a minimum of 1 to 3 years. If the intent of the action was also to commit sexual exploitation of the child, it will be labeled a Class 4 felony and subject to a sentence of a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison. Both of these crimes require sex offender registration and may result in a lifetime of probation.

Sexual Exploitation of a Child

There are two aspects to this crime: regular exploitation and internet exploitation.

Defendants can be convicted for regular exploitation if they possess sexually exploitative material, knowingly causing a child to engage/be used for explicit sexual conduct, or traffic exploitative material.

Depending on the details, these offenses can be Class 6, 4, or 3 felonies. Sentences can then range from 12 to 18 months, a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, or a minimum of 4-12 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison respectively. All are subject to sex offender registration and the possibility of probation for life.

If the defendant uses a computer to communicate with and entice a child 15 years old or younger to touch their own or someone else’s intimate parts, it results in an internet sexual exploitation of a child charge. This is a Class 4 felony, subject to at least a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, sex offender registration, and possible lifetime probation.

Sexual Assault on a Child

Sexual assault on a child charges vary greatly based on the age of the child and the defendant. If the child is between 15 and 17 years old and a defendant, who is at least 10 years older and not a spouse of the victim, sexually intrudes on or penetrates the child, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This is also an extraordinary risk crime. Offenders may receive 6 to 24 months in jail and be required to register as a sex offender.

If the victim is less than 15 years old and the offender who is attempting sexual intrusion or penetration is at least 4 years older, the crime is a Class 4 felony. The defendant would be sentenced to a minimum of 2-6 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, sex offender registration, and the possibility of lifetime probation.

Lifetime Prison

The reason so many of these crimes may require lifetime prison sentences is due to the indeterminate sentencing structure of sex offenses in Colorado Revised Statute 18-1.3-1001.  This law requires a judge to sentence someone to a definite minimum term required by the class of felony they are convicted of to a maximum of the rest of their life.  This means that once the person has completed the  minimum number of years ordered by the judge, the parole board will decide when or if they ever are released from prison.

Lifetime Probation

The reason so many of these crimes may require the offender to live under probation for the rest of their lives is the Sex Offender Lifetime Supervision Act of 1998. It requires nearly all Class 4, 3, and 2 sex offenses committed after November 1, 1998 to be accompanied by a sentence of lifetime probation for the defendant.

Whether or not lifetime probation is applied is decided by the court on a case by case basis. It is typically based on the likelihood of the victim committing similar crimes and the relationship between offender and victim.

When to Hire a Defense Attorney

Regardless of your innocence or guilt, if you are being accused of a sex crime it is critically important to speak to a lawyer before you speak to anyone else. Making premature statements to the police, the other party’s attorney, or anyone else without your own lawyer present can immediately tarnish your chances of a favorable outcome.

At Wolf Law LLC, our attorneys understand the potentially severe penalties associated with a sex crime conviction. We’ll take your case as seriously as you do, and we’ll be right there to fight for you every step of the way.

If you need help fighting sex crime charges, or believe you may be eligible for sex offender deregistration, call us at 720-479-8574 to schedule a free consultation.

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Beyond Expectations

Words cannot express how grateful I am to have been represented by Wolf Law. Any petition involving removal from the sex offender registry should never be handled on your own. Each case is unique, and the complications with mine were met with the highest degree of compassion and professionalism. I was treated as a human being that made a terrible mistake, rather than a monster as the stigma typically implies.

Thanks to the hard work of my attorney, Cassandra Monahan, as well as the other attorneys and legal staff that I had the pleasure of interacting with, I can finally bring a very painful chapter of my life to a close. There is much to be said about an attorney that performs as though they have a vested interest in your case as opposed to one that just wants your money. I highly recommend Wolf Law!

— JW

I Was Lucky to Have Jeff Represent Me

After a referral from a friend, I was lucky enough to have Jeff represent me in a domestic violence case. I found Jeff to be extremely professional and experienced in his field. This being my first experience with the court system, he took the time to explain the process and my options in terms I could understand. I never felt like he was forcing me to take one option over another, he clearly explained each one and, while giving his recommendation, left it up to me as to which decision I felt would be the best for me and my family.

I am very pleased with the outcome of my case and would highly recommend Jeff to anyone in this situation.

— Melissa

Deferred Sentence, Sealed Record For Pot Possession

In July of 2009 I was charged with possession of marijuana. I contacted Jeff with Wolf Law and worked with him to find my best options. Jeff was very knowledgeable, honest and professional. He worked quickly and effectively to get me a deferred sentence and ultimately seal the record of this infraction. I also had a prior charge that was many years old that was also a deferred sentence. Jeff worked to seal that record in order help maintain my privacy. I now have used this ability to change my field of work and pass a background check with no infractions visible on my record. My life is moving onward and upward due to the help that was provided by Wolf Law. Thank You Jeff!

— John

Outstanding Law Firm

Wolf Law was very helpful in fulfilling my personal needs. Colleen Kelley knew how to approach my case and made me feel better about my results in the bargain. I would recommend her to anyone with criminal trouble; she is an amazing lawyer.

— Levi

The best lawyer you could ever hire !!!

Jeffrey Wolf is the best lawyer you could ever hire. He most definitely went way above and beyond the call of duty for me and my case. I’m sure that some of you have hired other lawyers in the past and it seemed like they drug their heels, and wouldn’t return calls, which made you feel that they didn’t care about you.

As far as I’m concerned that will never happen to you if you hire Jeffrey Wolf. He treated me like I was either his best friend or a member of his family, that’s how I felt dealing with him. I honestly looked forward to his calls. He seems like a super cool/good guy. If I lived in Colorado I would be honored to even hang out sometime, maybe shoot some pool, go bowling, ect just have fun. But the most important thing as far as business goes he got an amazing result for me in the case he represented me for. If yall don’t hire Jeffrey as your attorney then you’re making a HUGE mistake that you will probably regret the rest of your life. Again tyvvvvvvvm Jeffrey Wolf for taking care of me. You are the best.

— Francis White

100% Worth It

Jeffrey Wolf was very professional, helped me feel better through an extremely scary process, and the serious case reached a favorable outcome. Highly recommend.

— JT

APPRECIATION

I would like to place on record the immense appreciation for Ms Colleen Kelly, Partner at Wolf Law LCC. I had an opportunity as a Solicitor to interact with her on behalf of one of my clients in a DV Matter. Her professionalism and knowledge of law is absolutely outstanding. She is extremely honest and straightforward in her legal advice. She always keeps the interest of the client a priority and safe guards the interest of the client at all times. She is an asset to the legal team and adds value with her expertise and knowledge.

— Nirvikar Singh, Advocate Supreme Court of India

Informative, Kind, Helpful: Can’t Thank Him Enough

My experience with Wolf Law was excellent. I am a full time college student and Mr. Wolf was beyond helpful to me, and provided me with all of the information I needed. He is very kind and always available for questions and support. I can’t thank him enough for all of his hard work.

— Marisa

Wow

Unfortunately, I have required an attorney more than a few times. That said, Jeff is the most intelligent, competent, compassionate, committed, aggressive representation to be found, without a doubt. Facing a felony DUI, no proof of insurance, careless driving and cruelty to animals (my dog gets more love than most people in the world), followed by two DURs (driving under revocation), I pretty much felt I was screwed. After hiring and firing two attorneys, I called Jeff. Note: Do your research before you waste money, and do whatever it takes to get the money for proper representation. I met with Jeff based on his peer reviews, client reviews, education and experience; all of them positive and 100 percent accurate. Twenty minutes into the consultation, all my built-up stress and anxiety had been significantly reduced. I thought my driving privileges were over for a while. Jeff showed me what I needed to do to get a restricted license, which I was able to do within a few days. Following that he made two DURs, jail time offenses, turn into one zero-point traffic violation. Then, one year to the date of my run-in with the law, Jeff and I went to trial. The no insurance charge was dropped. I was insured. The cruelty to animals charge was dropped after the first day of trial. On the second day, I was found not guilty of DUI, DWAI and careless driving. The time, effort and determination Jeff put in was clear, and his strategies and trial skills were clearly superb. No better counsel can be found in my opinion.

— Patrick

Wolf Law and Colleen Kelley are Great

Had the chance to work with Colleen Kelley and found her not only to be a great attorney, but also someone who will fight for you! Highly recommend her…

— Tom S.