Anyone required to register as a sex offender in Colorado has undoubtedly experienced a lot of negativity surrounding their status.
When registering as a sex offender in our state, registrants must provide a bevy of very personal details that are then searchable by the public. Anyone can look on the sex offender registry to see who you are, what you were convicted of, where you live, and a lot of other information.
Many people on the sex offender registry want to know one very important thing: Can they be removed from the registry in Colorado? Read on to find out the answer to this very important question.
Deregistration as a Sex Offender in Colorado
To be eligible to have your name removed from the sex offender registry in our state, a certain amount of time must have been completed as a registrant. How long depends on the specific sex crime you were convicted of. Convicted sex offenders are required to register during their probation/parole or incarceration.
Be aware that a sex offender may have to register for life in certain situations. Lifetime registration is typically reserved for sex crimes involving children. For others, the period they must register starts when they are released from the Department of Corrections or jurisdiction of the court. When you are released from your sentence parameters, the clock starts running toward deregistration.
In general, the timeline for deregistration is:
- 20 years for felonies in the class of 1, 2, or 3
- 10 years for felonies in the class of 4, 5, or 6
- 10 years for Class 1 misdemeanors of unlawful sexual contact or third-degree sexual assault before January 2000
- 5 years – Other Class 1 misdemeanors
If you had a deferred judgment or adjudication, you could ask to have your name taken from the sex offender registry after completing the program and the case is dismissed. The same is true for those under 18 at the time of the offense and who have successfully completed a juvenile disposition or sentence.
Discontinuing Sex Offender Registration: Filing a Petition
You can meet with an attorney to determine if you are eligible for deregistration. If you are, the next step is to file a Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration. This process can be complex, and you must first give notice that you intend to discontinue your sex offender registration. This notice is for law enforcement agencies and must be sent through certified mail with a return receipt. The prosecuting attorney can object to this application at this stage.
After your notice, you can go ahead and file your petition. That means filling out all forms and providing those asked for by the court. It’s a tedious task, but your attorney has experience with these petitions and can help ensure you have everything the court asks for.
Denied or Accepted
After the notice has been filed, you will either find out you were denied or get a Notice of Hearing where you can go to court to argue your case for deregistration. At this hearing, you can show the court how you have successfully completed the penalties handed down by the court and have successfully reintegrated back into your community. The judge will then listen to objections and ultimately rule either in your favor or not.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019-2022” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2022 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020-2022. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.