If you are charged with a sex crime in Colorado, you will suffer many consequences you may not even know about. Obviously, there is a decent chance that you will have to serve a prison sentence and be put on probation. However, those are just the beginning of your consequences.
If your sex offense is one that qualifies for the sex offender registry, completing your criminal sentence is really the start of a new one – because as soon as you get out, you’ll have to actually go on the registry.
This is something that can make life more challenging for many reasons. In this post, we’re going to describe many of these and explain what you can do to fight back against your charges and prevent yourself from having to go on the registry in the first place.
Here are just some of the negative consequences of being on the Colorado sex offender registry:
Your Reputation Will Be Damaged
Serving your criminal sentence is supposed to be “paying your debt to society.” When you get out, it’s supposed to be a new start of sorts.
However, sex offenders carry a strong negative stigma in our culture, and if you are on a registry that anyone can look up at any time, it’s pretty difficult to shake that stigma. You may suffer in many different social circles, where you could be mocked, ostracized, or even bullied.
Relationships Might Suffer
Many families are negatively affected when one member must register as a sex offender. Marriages can be strained – and might die. You could lose custody of your children or be forced to follow strict guidelines on when you can see them, especially in parks or at schools. You could experience negativity in your extended family relationships and friendships as well.
Employment Opportunities May Dry Up
Many jobs require that you pass a background check before you apply. A potential employer will see that you have been convicted for a sex crime and immediately disqualify you.
You might also be fired from your current employment situation if a new manager comes on board. It can be difficult for registered sex offenders to find steady, well-paying jobs, and you may experience significant financial strain.
Additionally, some jobs require licenses. Anyone with a felony conviction will be prohibited from applying from certain licenses, which can further restrict your employment opportunities.
Housing Opportunities May Be Limited
You will not be permitted to live within a certain distance of a school or park, which may severely limit your choices for housing.
If you want to rent an apartment, a landlord may refuse you after running a background check. Alternatively, they may agree to rent to you – if you pay higher rates. If you have financial problems due to your lack of ability to find employment, you may not qualify for housing loans.
Your Credit Can Be Affected
You need good credit to apply for vehicle loans, educational opportunities, housing, and other necessities. However, if you can’t find a job due to registry as a sex offender, your credit will suffer and affect your ability to improve your circumstances.
Your Rights Will Be Impacted
A felony conviction means that you lose your right to vote or bear arms. Your rights to child custody may also be revoked.
You’re More Likely to Reoffend
That’s right. Despite Big Brother watching so closely, people on the sex offender registry are more likely to reoffend then those convicted of sex crimes not on the registry.
Are these people simply more prone to illegal acts in general? Or perhaps their actions might be due to the pressure and isolation the above consequences can create.
Reoffending can mean longer prison sentencing and more negative effects, which can take a serious toll on your quality of life.
Stop this from happening in the first place. The second you are charged or accused of a sex crime, reach out to a knowledgeable Denver criminal lawyer and work with them to craft the strongest defense possible.
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” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.