Sex Offender Laws in Colorado


Colorado takes sex crimes very seriously, with rigorous prosecution of alleged sex crimes and harsh penalties upon conviction. Because the law considers convicted sex offenders as a threat to the public, they also face a lifetime with their name on a sex offender registry list with specific requirements for updating their information. A conviction for this type of crime comes with lifelong consequences for the convicted individual’s career choices, community interactions, and relationships.

Colorado’s legal system is designed to protect the rights of accused individuals. All those accused have a right to due process, including a strong legal defense. This is especially important for those facing charges of a sex crime, which comes with severe and lasting implications with a conviction even after time served.

What Are Sexual Offenses in Colorado?

There are many types of sexual offense crimes in the Colorado legal system. Sex crimes occur when one individual touches another person’s intimate body parts without their consent, during sexually abusive situations, or when an individual engages in non-consensual actions intended to cause arousal to the individual or to their target victim even if no physical contact takes place.

Examples of sexual offenses in Colorado include the following:

  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Sexual assault/Sexual battery
  • Forcible penetration
  • Child molestation
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexually exploiting a minor
  • Prostitution
  • Solicitation
  • Online solicitation of a minor
  • Indecent exposure
  • Public indecency
  • Statutory rape
  • Unlawful sexual conduct
  • Voyeurism

Those convicted of other crimes, such as robbery or kidnapping may also face charges of a sexual offense in Colorado if they had sexual motives for the crime.

What Does Colorado’s Sex Registry Law Require?

Colorado requires all sex offenders convicted after July 1st,1991 to join the state’s official registry within five days of their conviction. Those convicted of sex crimes in other states must register in Colorado within five days of becoming a Colorado resident.

The majority of sex offenders must update their information every year within five days of their birthdate. This registry serves to inform the public of possible dangers within their communities. For those convicted of specific sex crimes, such as sexually violent predators and those who committed sexual assaults against children, the law requires updates of their information every three months on the sex crime registry. In addition to the required periodic updates, those convicted must provide updates to the registry under any of the following circumstances:

  • A change of address
  • Any changes to an official address
  • An additional address
  • A legal name change
  • They’ve moved their motor home or camper

Registered sex offenders must also update information on the registry if they begin a new job in education, enroll in an institution of higher education, or when there’s a change in their status or job position at an educational institution.

The information included on the sexual offender registry in Colorado also appears on local law enforcement websites.

Failing to register after a sex crime conviction is a class 6 felony in Colorado with penalties ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in fines or up to 1.5 years in prison.

All individuals in Colorado’s criminal justice system have specific obligations and rights, including the right to a rigorous legal defense.