A person convicted of a sex crime in Colorado must register with the publicly-searchable Colorado’s Sex Offender Tracking and Registration System (SOTAR). Most offenders are required by law to update their information annually, but the most serious offenders must re-register every three months. Failing to register on SOTAR when you are required to do so is its own felony, carrying a sentence of up to one and a half years in a state prison and a fine of at least $1,000.
If you are required to register on SOTAR but have questions–including when and if you will be able to be removed from the system–contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Denver, CO for assistance.
Who is required to register?
Many sex crimes, including sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, incest, incitement of a child, promoting obscenity to a minor or crimes involving prostitution of a minor, invasion of privacy for sexual gratification and a third offense for public indecency (or a second one within five years) require the person convicted to register. You do not have to be convicted in Colorado to be required to register, as being convicted of a similar crime in another state also means you have to register in Colorado once you move there.
What information is required for registration?
A person registered as a sex offender must provide their name, vehicle information, any chat room or instant messaging identities, registration status, address, date of birth, place of employment, a physical description, a photograph and fingerprints. A lot of this information is available to the public via search, including residence, place of employment and photographs.
When must offenders register?
Most offenders have to update their information once per year and within five business days of their birth date. Certain offenders, such as those classified as sexually violent predators or those who were convicted of felony sexual assault, have to register every three months. If you are unclear about how often you need to register, speak with your criminal lawyer to avoid any costly misunderstandings.
You also need to register any time you change your address, need to add an address, move your motor or trailer home (if you have one) or legally change your name. If you work at, volunteer or attend an institution of higher education, you have to register when you begin work or study and re-register each time you have to change your work status or location at the institution. If you’re not sure how a life change impacts your registration, talk to your attorney.
How long are people on the registry?
How long you must remain on SOTAR depends on what you were convicted of. Felony sexual assault or sexual assault of a child requires registration for life, for example, but those convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor sexual assault remain on the registry for ten years. After you have passed through the minimum number of years registration is required for your conviction, you can work with an attorney to file a petition in court to have your name removed and the requirement lifted.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and the Colorado sex offender registry.