Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Discontinuing Sex Offender Registration

Periodic and regular address registration with law enforcement is mandated by the harsh and broadly applied "sex offender" sentencing laws here in Colorado and most states.  This can have long-lasting hurt on the person's ability to find housing and employment, among other things.

Recognizing this, Colorado and other states allow the person to ask (petition) a court to discontinue registration for many such offenses.  Generally three factors must be shown via a form petition. First, that a certain period of time has passed (10 years for example).  Second, that the person has not re-offended and has been in compliance otherwise.  Third, that notices required by the applicable statute (to the victim, law enforcement etc.) duly have been given.

The Colorado statute is CRS 16-22-113.  It requires the court to hold a hearing once the petition is filed and served, but is silent on what - presumably in addition to the information in the petition - must be shown or proven.  Appellate courts have decided the judge at the hearing has broad discretion to grant or deny the petition even if, so to speak, all the boxes on the form petition are checked.  Factors considered may include objection by the victim, other offenses by the petitioner, lack of compliance with other sentence terms and conditions, and the like.  We suggest having supporting witnesses testify on these factors at the hearing, and to opine on the person's likelihood of not re-offending in the future.

Like all things sex offense related, assume the judge and prosecution will not be sympathetic and will look for ways to deny the petition.  Prepare accordingly.  Better yet, call us here at Sanderson Law, P.C., to help.  303-444-8846.