A sexual offense is one of the most serious crimes for which a person can be convicted. Conviction of a sex offense is life-changing: it comes with serious and lasting consequences, which can include imprisonment, fines, and a requirement to register as a sex offender.
Even after a convicted sex offender has served the sentence and paid any required restitution, the conviction can haunt him or her for years.
Sex offender registration can be required for the next five, ten, or fifteen years after the offender is released—or even for life.
Registration can be difficult and costly. During the required time period, the person may have to register before his or her release from prison as well as after every change of name, residence, employment, and student status. The offender must pay a fee each time he or she renews the registration.
Failure to register—even accidentally—can come with harsh penalties, such as imprisonment for up to 10 years.
In addition to registration requirements, registered sex offenders may face restrictions on where they can live and work. Many municipalities throughout the state of Colorado prohibit sex offenders from living near schools, parks, or other areas where children normally gather. These restrictions can make it extremely difficult for a sex offender to find housing. As a result, some sex offenders unfortunately end up homeless.
The requirement to register as a sex offender is not simply burdensome, however. It can also be dangerous: this year, in Colorado, a man who pleaded guilty to a sex crime told police that a masked assailant stabbed him in the back near his home.
The stigma associated with being convicted of a sex crime is more serious than being convicted of another type of crime, and sex offenders face persecution and violence.
This is why it is so important for someone who is accused of a sexual offense to talk to an experienced sex crime defense lawyer about the options for his or her case. If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime, don’t hesitate to contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara. Call us today.