There are several types of crimes n the state of Colorado that involve enhanced sentencing. In many instances, when someone commits the same crime repeatedly, they will be subject to enhanced penalties that can send them to prison for a really long time – even life.
A case in Aurora highlights how repeat offenses can lead to serious trouble. A Kansas man was arrested for sexual assault in Aurora, among other crimes. It was discovered that he had a significant history of committing sexual assault crimes, even as a juvenile. He has now been sentenced to 136 years in a Colorado prison.
To be labeled a repeat sexual offender is a serious occurrence. Here’s what you need to know about sexual assault laws in Colorado, including how more than one convictions for these crimes can send you to prison for a very long time.
Sexual Assault in Colorado
Sexual assault, also known as rape, occurs when sexual penetration is performed on another person by force or without their consent. Sex is automatically considered non-consensual if one party is unconscious or intoxicated. The key to sexual assault is that is it a knowing act of sexual penetration that is unwanted.
For the purpose of the law, sexual penetration is defined as vaginal intercourse, anal sex, fingering, penetration with a foreign object, oral sex, or anilingus. Groping another person is not considered sexual assault, but instead is labeled unlawful sexual contact under the law.
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Colorado
Sexual assault is a felony in Colorado. It is also considered a crime of extraordinary risk, which increases the potential sentence if found guilty.
Sexual assault can range from a Class 4 felony to a Class 2 felony. The penalties can range anywhere from eight years with fines of $500,000 for a Class 4 felony to as many as 24 years for a Class 2 felony.
However, if a deadly weapon is used in the commission of the sexual assault, it becomes a crime of violence. The penalty for this expands up to life in prison and maximum fines of $1 million. Those convicted of sexual assault will also be required to register as a sex offender.
What About Repeat Offenders?
Enhanced sentencing will be on the table anytime a person is convicted of sexual assault two or more times, even if the conviction occurred outside of Colorado. In these cases, the defendant is labeled a habitual sex offender and, in those cases, harsh penalties will result. In some cases, that can mean a penalty three times the severity of a first offense.
The Sex Offender Registry
In many cases, a sexual assault conviction in Colorado will also require someone to register as a sex offender for life. That means that, if they are released from prison, they will have to provide their personal information – their name, address, birthday, physical description, and specific convictions – to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The CBI will then make the information publicly searchable in their database. Failure to register as a sex offender is a crime itself.
A sexual assault conviction one time can make your life a whole lot more difficult. A second conviction can take your life away and put you in prison for the long haul. That’s why, if you find yourself in the position of a second sexual assault accusation, It’s vital to understand the case against you and your rights.
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” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2020 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. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.