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Who Must Register as a Sex Offender

Registration and Sex Offenders in the Community

The Sex Offender Registration Act (Sections 16-22-101 through 16-22-114, C.R.S.) was enacted in 2002. Definitions of the sex offense classifications used in the act are listed in Appendix B.

Who must register?
Colorado law requires the registration of any person who is a temporary or permanent resident of Colorado and who:

  • was convicted on or after July 1, 1991, of an unlawful sexual offense or enticement of a child in the state of Colorado, internet luring of a child, or an equivalent offense in another state or jurisdiction (see Appendix B for definitions of these offenses);
  • was released on or after July 1, 1991, from the corrections department in Colorado or any other state, having served a sentence for an unlawful sexual offense, enticement of a child, Internet luring of a child, or an equivalent offense in another state or jurisdiction;
  • was convicted on or after July 1, 1994, in the state of Colorado of unlawful sexual behavior (see Appendix B for the definition of this offense) or of another offense, the underlying factual basis of which involved unlawful sexual behavior;
  • is released from the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) on or after July 1, 1994, after serving a sentence for unlawful sexual behavior or for another offense, the underlying factual basis of which involved unlawful sexual behavior;
  • is convicted of an offense in any other state or jurisdiction for which the person is required to register in the state or jurisdiction of conviction, or for which such person would be required to register if convicted in Colorado;
  • receives a disposition or is adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for committing any act that may constitute unlawful sexual behavior; or
  • receives a deferred juvenile adjudication for committing any act that may constitute unlawful sexual behavior.

For the purpose of sex offender registration, any person from another state who occupies a dwelling in Colorado, including a hotel or motel, for more than 14 days in any 30-day period is considered a temporary resident. Sex offenders who live in another state but work or go to school in Colorado are considered temporary residents. The term “other jurisdictions” includes, but is not limited to, military, tribal, territorial, or federal jurisdictions. Sex offenders who are convicted and sentenced in Colorado but move to another state upon their release must register in that state.

A court can exempt a sex offender from the registration requirements if the person meets certain guidelines (e.g., the person was under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the act), and the court determines that the requirement would be unfairly punitive and that exempting the sex offender from the registration requirement would not pose a significant risk to the community. Prior to making a decision to exempt a sex offender from the registration requirement, the court must give the prosecuting attorney and the victim a chance to be heard at a hearing.

Who notifies sex offenders of the requirement to register?

DOC personnel, county sheriffs, judges or magistrates, and probation and parole officers must notify sex offenders upon conviction or release from custody of their duty to register with local law enforcement in each and any jurisdiction in which they reside in the United States. In addition, Division of Youth Corrections personnel must notify juvenile sex offenders under their jurisdiction of the duty to register.

Where and when do sex offenders register?

Sex offenders must register with either the local chief of police or county sheriff in each and any jurisdiction in which they reside, whether in Colorado, another state, or in multiple locations. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) maintains the statewide sex offender registry in Colorado.

What information must sex offenders provide upon registration?

When registering, a sex offender must provide the following on a standardized form prepared by CBI:

  • name, including any and all legal names or aliases;
  • date of birth;
  • address;
  • vehicle information for any motor vehicle owned or leased;
  • place of employment;
  • a current photograph; and
  • a full set of fingerprints.

Sex offenders who are temporary residents of Colorado must also provide their address in their state of permanent residence and their place of employment in Colorado. Sex offenders who are employed at, are enrolled in, or volunteer for an institution of higher education must provide the name and address of the institution, and all addresses and locations at which the person may be physically located at the institution. Any sex offender whose place of residence is a trailer or motor home is required to register the address at which the trailer or motor home will be lawfully located. Motor vehicles may not be listed a place of residence.

Offenders convicted of a child sex crime are required to also provide all e-mail addresses, instant messaging identities, and chat room identities prior to being used by the offender.

What if the offender lacks a fixed residence?

A person lacks a fixed residence when that person does not have a living situation that meets the statutory definition of residence. Examples include, but are not limited to, outdoor sleeping locations or any public or private locations not designed as traditional living accommodations; or temporary public or private housing, temporary shelter facilities, residential treatment facilities, or any other residential program or facility if the person remains at the location for less than fourteen days.

How often and under what conditions are sex offenders required to re-register?

Sex offenders must re-register annually on their birthday. In addition, sex offenders must re-register any time they change addresses, establish additional residences, or legally change their name. If a trailer or motor home is moved to another location, it is the sex offender’s responsibility to update his or her registration information. If the sex offender ceases to reside at an address and lacks a fixed address, the offender must update his or her registration. Offenders required to register annually and who lack a fixed residence must register every three months and when they cease to lack a fixed residence.

Offenders required to register quarterly or every three months and who lack a fixed residence must register at least every month.

Can a sex offender ever be removed from the registry?

Sexually violent predators and sex offenders who are subject to lifetime registration cannot be removed from the registry. Other sex offenders can petition the court to discontinue their registration or the posting of their information on the Internet, as long as they have not subsequently received a disposition for, been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for, or been otherwise convicted of any sexual offense. Depending on the offense for which they were convicted or factors surrounding the disposition of their case, sex offenders are eligible to request removal from the registry anywhere from the time they successfully complete their sentence to 20 years after their final release from the jurisdiction of the court. Appendix C contains a table showing when and under what conditions sex offenders are first eligible to petition for removal from the sex offender registry. In certain cases, courts may notify the victim of an offense when an offender petitions for removal.

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