Sexual Assault in Colorado
Being charged with a sexual offense is very serious in the State of Colorado. You must have a well-trained, skilled trial attorney for such a case. The public, and consequently the jury that you will have, is very emotionally charged when it comes to the subject of sexual assault. Juries are most often biased in favor of the alleged victim, especially if the alleged victim in your case is a child. If the sex offense that you are charged with is a third or fourth degree felony, that is an "F3" or "F4," then the offense most likely carries a "to life" sentence. This means that someone at the Department of Corrections, and not a judge, will decide if you remain in prison for life. Since 1998, when this type of sentencing began for sex offense cases, only one person has been released from prison, even though many have completed the lower limit of their sentence (for example, 4 years in a "4 years to life" sentence).
The probation for sex offenses is quite demanding, and the consequences of violating your probation can be quite serious. You may be given supervised probation for life, lifetime therapy, and lifetime registration as a sex offender. You may lose your career, and suffer a great deal of humiliation in the process. Any criminal defense lawyer will agree that the demands placed on the defendant are outrageous, and that sex offense probation unfairly sets the client up for failure. Unfortunately, this probation is not structured toward the rehabilitation, but rather the "containment" of the person.
If you are convicted of, or plead guilty to a sex offense, you will be required to submit to a pre-sentence evaluation, which will also include a "sex offense specific evaluation." You may be required to perform a penile plethysmograph examination, or "PPG," in which a device is connected to the man's penis in order to detect whether there is any arousal. (There's also a device like this for women). During this examination, the person is shown photographs and your level of arousal is monitored. The pictures shown may be stimulating to people who are considered "normal," but because you are considered to be a sex offender, any response may be considered a failure.
Lie detector tests will also be used. If the test determines that your answers are "inconclusive" this will be considered a failure of the test, and the judge could sentence you to prison. You must admit doing a crime when you are in treatment, and aggressively participate in your treatment, or you may be sent to prison.
A skilled Colorado trial lawyer has a stronger likelihood of getting a favorable result for you. A lawyer that is thorough, well-organized, files the right motions, and is skilled at trying cases in front of a jury will demand a more reasonable plea offer. This is because the prosecutors want to avoid, at all cost, losing the case at trial. At trial, your attorney must have a complete understanding of the evidence rules that are unique to sexual assault cases. It may be a fight to get the evidence that helps you into trial, and in front of the jury. Even if you succeed, you then need an attorney who can argue the facts of your case convincingly.
If the evidence against you is strong, you may be forced to accept a plea offer. In such a case, a busy defense attorney may not spend a lot of time investigating your case because he believes that your case is a loser. This can be a very costly mistake, since there may be evidence out there that weakens the District Attorney's ability to prove you guilty. This puts pressure on the District Attorney to give you a good deal, so that they can avoid a loss at trial.
I bring the experience and skill that you will need to successfully confront your sexual assault case. I have a strong record when defending the accused at trial. I believe every case should be thoroughly investigated, whether you go to trial or not, so that you have the most bargaining power possible when dealing with the prosecutor.
Life Sentences and Lifetime Probation
Sex offenses are the only type of offenses in Colorado that allow the judge to give a sentence with no defined endpoint, called “Indeterminate” sentences. An example would be “two years to life.” Even though such a sentence allows the defendant the possibility of being released on parole in two years, there is little chance he will ever be released. These types of sentences can be given for sex offenses at the Fourth Degree Felony level or higher.
If probation is granted for this level of felony, it will be lifetime probation. Given the demanding nature of sex offense probation, it is common for those on this type of probation to be revoked and sent to prison.
Internet Sexual Exploitation
Most Denver area counties have active law enforcement programs that work undercover to make arrests for internet luring of a child. Generally, the defendant is caught by unwittingly talking with a police detective that is posing as an underage person on the internet. Cases in which the defendant attempts to meet the (imaginary) underage person are treated more seriously, and have an increased chance of leading to jail sentences. Much less frequently, these cases involve contact with a real underage person.