H. Michael Steinberg has 38+ years of experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Colorado Criminal Sex Crimes Law – 2011 Changes to Sex Offenders Registration Laws – House Bill 11-1278

A new Colorado Law – helps Sex Offenders Understand the Requirements of Sex Offender Registration.

The 2011 bill makes a number of modifications to the requirements for registering as a sex offender, including the following:

• county sheriffs are required to submit registration information for individuals who are required to register as sex offenders and are held for more than five days or are sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a county jail;

• a defendant who is convicted of an offense in a tribal or territorial jurisdiction that requires registration as a sex offender must register as a sex offender in Colorado;

• the fee that may be charged by law enforcement agencies for registration services is capped at $25 for annual and quarterly registration and may not be charged for updates to registration information;

• if an offender is unable to pay the fee at the time of registration, the fee debt may be sent into collections;

|• an offender who is required to register must do so within five business days of his or her birthday;

• an offender who is required to register and who moves to a new jurisdiction is required to register in the new jurisdiction and cancel registration in the old jurisdiction; and
• the local law enforcement agency in the new jurisdiction is required to notify the local law enforcement agency in the old jurisdiction of the cancellation of the registration.

Juvenile Sex Offender Cases

Under current law an adult offender who successfully completes a deferred sentence or a juvenile who discharges his or her sentence may petition the court to discontinue registration as a sex offender. The bill would require the court to automatically consider whether to discontinue the registration requirement when deciding whether to dismiss the charges in a deferred judgment or when discharging a juvenile’s sentence.

For a juvenile on parole, the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC) in the Department of Human Services is required to petition on behalf of the juvenile for a discontinuation of the registration requirement.

Current law requires the use of intensive supervised probation and parole for offenders convicted of failure to register as a sex offender. The bill allows the court and parole board discretion as to the use of intensive supervision programs. The county in which an offender completed his or her last registration is added as a proper venue for prosecuting offenses of failure to register as a sex offender.

The bill creates an affirmative defense for failing to register as a sex offender if uncontrollable circumstances prevented the registration; the circumstances were not caused by the offender; and the offender registered as soon as the circumstances ceased to exist.

The bill also adds second degree kidnapping (when the person kidnapped is the victim of a sexual offense) to the definition of unlawful sexual behavior.

The 2011 Sex Offender Registration bill gives a five day window for registration surrounding an offender’s birthday, and law enforcement was given the responsibility for de registration. Efforts will be made in 2012 to correct a drafting oversight that failed to provide the same five day grace period for those required to register quarterly