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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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Personalized, Professional Service

I utilized Mr. Wolf’s services for my case. Granted each case is individual, but I was able to get my charge dismissed. Mr. Wolf worked with me and communicated with me in a timely manner, always being available for questions and/or support. His fees are reasonable and his service exemplary. I highly recommend Wolf Law if you are in need of services for criminal charges.

— Carin

Truly There for You

Jeff is the best attorney my husband and I have used. He actually cared about what was best for my family. He actually fought for my husband and was on his side. He listened to my husband and made us feel like he was on our side and we could trust him with my husband’s future. I suggest to anyone looking for an attorney to put your trust in Jeff, he got us the best deal ever.

— Raena

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.

Here’s a Lawyer You can Trust

I found myself threatened with life-changing accusations, and Jeff Wolf was there for me. Kept me up to date every step of the way and really helped relieve the stress of going through something so awful. 100 percent worth every penny.

— Patrick

Look No Further – Jeff is the Best

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.

I Trust My Future with Jeffery A. Wolf

My experience was very hard like many others facing any criminal charges against them. Jeffery A. Wolf was a very compassionate, caring individual that was there to help me through the entire court process. He is very knowledgeable about criminal law and was very helpful, getting my family and me through the whole criminal process. He fought for me in a time I needed someone the most, ensuring me that he was there for me and out to get the best results as possible from the court system. What an outstanding man to fight for the truth and be there for anyone with criminal charges, explaining the whole process very methodically and being pin point with all the facts. I was very confident in his experiences and knowledge that I would only trust my future with Jeffery A. Wolf. I had a great experience with him, allowing me to have the life I am here to live.

— Adam B.

So Glad I Hired Jeff Wolf for My DUI Case

I was originally considering not hiring an attorney since this was my first DUI offense but I’m definitely glad I did. It was my first DUI but I was involved in a one-car accident and totaled my car. I started to worry about the possible consequences after reading the penalties online. I contacted Jeff’s office after reading reviews on AVVO left by other clients. From the beginning he was very straightforward regarding possible penalties and possible outcomes, and gave me the details of what he would do if I hired him.

We worked out what strategies we would use for the DMV and Court. Without going into too much detail, I have to say that I was extremely happy that I decided to hire Jeff. Immediately after hiring him I felt a lot less stress about the whole situation. He was always in contact with me every step of the process and even did things for me that I didn’t have to do myself, like my DMV hearing.

Every DUI case is different based on many different circumstances, so I can’t say that my results will be yours, however I was extremely happy with my results. He won my DMV hearing, and I didn’t lose my license and got pretty much the minimum penalties in court. Overall, I would recommend him to any family or friends who find themselves in the same situation. I have several friends who had similar situations who couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get the outcome that I did. Thank you for everything Jeff!

— Daniel G.

Excellent Representation

After finding myself wrongfully accused of a DUI charge, Mr. Wolf fought to show the DA that I was not guilty and ultimately got the charge dismissed. Mr. Wolf’s knowledge, professionalism, and effectiveness made me feel comfortable and confident throughout my case. He was always more than willing to answer any questions I had promptly and thoroughly. Although this was an unfortunate situation, I couldn’t have asked for better representation. I would highly recommend Mr. Wolf!

— Anonymous

Complete Professionals

This law firm is the true example of professionalism. They are very responsive, very up front and extremely respectful. Colleen is an amazing attorney who truly enjoys what she does. I would recommend Colleen to anyone. She is honest, hard working, no BS, and gets the job done. She knows what to say and when to say it. She definitely went above and beyond for me. I would 100 percent use her again without a doubt.

— Zach

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.