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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

Sexual 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.

Colorado Sexual assault charges lawyer

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 got my first DUI in April when I fell asleep in my car because I couldn’t get inside my house. I knew I needed a lawyer to help me fight the case but I was really hesitant on who I wanted to hire. I came across Jeffrey Wolf and I couldn’t be any happier that I chose him to represent me. Jeffrey is not only very professional but he can also relate to you on a personal level. Since it was my first offense I had no idea what to expect or what I was doing. He guided me through the whole process and I was very pleased with the results. He was able to convince the Judge to let me off with 6 months of unsupervised probation and level 1 education classes. Jeffrey is very loyal and a wonderful lawyer, definitely hiring him again if need be.

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Regarding a DV assault charge, Jeff was able to have the judge do something he stated he’d never done in any similar case: he deferred my sentence, reduced probation, reduced the amount of classes I would have to take from being many weeks on end to 2 days, and instead of requiring a no-contact order (which would have left me homeless and unable to speak to my partner via any means), he placed me on a no-contact order with alcohol… That alone was the best thing I could hear.

Without going into details of my case, this was the best possible outcome I could have been given, and I’m so happy that I was recommended to him by a fellow law professional that went to school with Jeff. I will be using him again when the time comes to put this case behind me for good, and would recommend him to anyone who needs expert defense, and wants someone to explain your case in simple, yet professional terms. I felt very well taken care of. Thank you again, Jeff!

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

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I was falsely accused of a crime with serious consequences, was very depressed and got even more depressed and frustrated as I was interviewing attorneys to defend me. They had a broad spectrum of approaches and some were ready to head to trial immediately as it seemed they were primarily interested in battles and my money rather than my best interests. The first one was extremely arrogant and rushed to get me off the phone. My court appearance date was approaching and I was ready to give up when I came across Jeffrey’s website. I read he had once also been falsely accused which motivated him to become an attorney. After further reading, his philosophy appealed to me so I set up a free session.

I met with Jeffrey and told him what happened. He explained the alleged crime and potential consequences and then spoke about himself and his approach. I spent more time than the “free time” allocated but was never rushed. He listened, believed me and was really genuine as I had not witnessed before with other attorneys.

By the time we finished talking, I felt respected and not disrespected as I found out with this accusation, you are guilty until proven innocent from most everyone’s perspective. I hired Jeff on the spot and when I left his office, I felt this big burden lifted off my shoulders as I knew I could trust him to do his best for me. I was finally able to sleep that night and after several weeks able to put this out of my mind as being the constant main focus.

If you are seeking a very knowledgeable, trustworthy, caring, honest and respectful attorney, Jeffrey fits the bill. He is a great listener and never rushed me even with a flat fee rate. He has a good rapport with the Court who also respectfully listens to him. He is well spoken in the courtroom. I have seen him in several cases reaching very good settlements for his clients. On my case, he provided me his opinion with his rationale as to how I should proceed but allowed me to then make a decision as to go to trial or take a plea bargain. He would fully support my decision either way. Jeff is very good in providing the pros and cons, risks, and potential scenarios that may play out. My case will be dismissed shortly and record sealed as a result of Jeff’s hard work, negotiations, poking holes in the accuser’s story pre-trial, and dedication to my satisfactory case resolution. If you want the best, look no further as you have found him. Thank you Jeff!

— David C.

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I had misdemeanor from when I was 19 years old that was keeping me from just renting an apartment because of its classification. I contacted Wolf law to get assistance with seal this 17-year-old case so I could secure an apt without fear of rejection. I was put in touch with Cassandra very promptly. She advised me and told me that I would have to seal the record in order to just have peace of mind as there is no statute of limitations on my situation. She explained the process very thoroughly and answered any questions I had. She was very kind during the whole process which ended up taking some time to get it taken care of. She kept me informed every step of the way. She kept great care to send me documents by mail and email. Cassandra was just fantastic to work with and I am so grateful to have closure from a mistake I was a young adult. If I every need a lawyer again (hopefully not of course) I would definitely contact Wolf law again for help. Thank you so much for helping me!

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