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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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I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Lawyer

Until the night of my DUI, I had never been in trouble before so one could only imagine how scared I was. Facing a DUI with a possible felony/assault charge, I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it all. I happened to find Jeffrey Wolf through another lawyer. After meeting with him in person, I knew immediately that he was going to help me. I was a complete wreck from day 1 and yet he made me feel at ease with every meeting, phone call and court appearance.

One of the traits I appreciated most was his honesty. Mr. Wolf told me straight up from the beginning what could happen and what I was facing but reassured me that he would do everything he could to get me through it with the best outcome. Having him there with me through this process and through every court appearance with him by my side made it easier to handle and I am so grateful to have worked with him. At the end of it all, I was able to get probation with a deferred judgment on my case. I would absolutely refer Mr. Wolf to any of my friends and/or family!

— Nichole G.

6-Month Jail Sentence Reduced to 90 Days

I was arrested in May 2014 for a warrant that I had since 2010 for DUR, I was facing a six month jail sentence that would have caused me to lose my business, home, as well as once again re-offend me. After countless calls and conversations and meetings with numerous attorneys I was referred to Jeffery Wolf. By simply speaking with him over the phone I felt a little at ease, until I met with him and after that I was completely at ease. He made feel the way an attorney is suppose to make a client feel. He was extremely personable, caring, honest, completely honest, and very detailed as to what his process is and what will take place in court.

On the day of my hearing Jeff arrived a little early and had me wait in the hallway while he stepped into the court room and went to bat for me. The result was a 0 point violation allowing me to keep my DL, a six-month jail sentence reduced to 90 days in-home detention, and a $67 fine, which was way more than I expected.

I highly recommend Jeff he is an excellent attorney that takes your case as serious as you do. I hope I never have to hire an attorney again but if I do without a doubt Jeffrey Wolf will be my first and only thought.

— David

Colleen Kelley and Wolf Law

In the past few years I have had the unfortunate circumstance of needing a criminal defense attorney. I cannot overstate how fortunate I was to have chosen Colleen Kelley. I can honestly say that without Colleen on my side that I would have been sentenced to significantly more time and more serious charges than were warranted in my situation.

Colleen is undoubtedly a major reason as to why I am free today and able to move on with rebuilding my life. I would without hesitation recommend Colleen to anyone who needs a criminal defense attorney.

— Matthew M.

My Heart Was Ripped Out, Wolf Law Showed Compassion

In early March, my heart was seemingly ripped out. I was driving into town with my two children, 5 and 2, in extremely inclimate weather conditions when my car hit a patch of ice and I lost control of my vehicle. It was a horrific accident and I was the only survivor in my vehicle. As if this wasn’t the worst thing that could have ever happened, I was charged with careless driving resulting in death, two counts. I was referred to Mr. Wolf by four separate law offices, as well as the BAR Association. The District Attorney’s office attempted to raise my charges to much more serious felony charges that could have carried very harsh sentences. Mr. Wolf was able to maintain the original charges and speak compassion and mercy to the the judge, leaving me facing only community service and a short probation with minimal associated probation costs. I would recommend his services to anybody and everybody. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable, but he is passionate about his work, while showing the utmost compassion and respect for his clients’ situation.

— Jamie

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Colleen was a great lawyer and made everything easily understandable.

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Mr. Wolf was recommended to me through my cousin. I was facing a very serious legal matter and Mr. Wolf was amazing. He explained everything to me in detail. He listened to my questions and was very helpful. I am so thankful that he was my lawyer.

— Amy K

Much Appreciation!

After a misread medical record, I was wrongly accused of a serious crime. Even though doctors admitted that the nurse misstated the severity of an injury, law enforcement tried to destroy my life. Law enforcement threatened to take away my wife, my kids and my life. I called around to a couple of attorneys, and no one offered the type of first-class customer service that Jeff provided. He was immediately available. Throughout the process, Jeff was there to guide and protect me. He was always available. And, after a long journey together, we found justice and freedom. During the process, I found Jeff to be intelligent, determined and highly personable. I strongly recommend Jeff!

— Anonymous

Case Dismissed

I met with a probation violation complaint for a DUI in Summit County. I live outside of Colorado, in Boston. I felt hopeless. I felt like my only option was to travel out to Colorado, give myself up and just see what happened. That would have meant jail and thus loss of job and loss of house.

I called Jeff and talked to him about my case. His experience in this area put me at ease. Jeff guided me through everything I needed to do to see this case through. The greatest thing is that I never had to leave home to clear this up. At the end of the day Jeff cleared my case (Case Dismissed) without me ever leaving Boston. Jeff is incredible, and his team is equally amazing.

I can’t thank Wolf Law enough for what they have done for me. I have a new outlook on life thanks to Jeff.

— Matt P.

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.

Hire A Lawyer You Can Relate To and Trust

I happened to find Jeff through a Google search for a DUI lawyer and I would have to say I really lucked out. I had heard horror stories about attorneys that overcharged their clients and that they would send others to represent them in court. From the initial phone call he helped me understand the process and prepared me for what was ahead. Having never needed a lawyer he was patient and made sure I understood everything before making any decisions. Jeff always made me feel like I was on the same level as him which I really appreciated. Jeff always prepared me for the worst, but in the end with his hard work and suggestions beforehand he managed to get me a pretty good deal. The best advice I could give is to be informed and START EVERYTHING right away. I would also say to hire a lawyer that you can relate to and that you trust. Don’t waste your money on someone that isn’t going to give you the personal attention you deserve. I would gladly recommend Jeff Wolf! He is down to earth and I never felt judged. He gave it to me straight and without hiring him I don’t know where I’d be. Thanks Jeff!

— Issac