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Do your charges qualify you as a sexually violent predator?

If you have been charged with sexual abuse criminal activity in Colorado, a conviction could land you on the Sexually Violent Predator notification list. Avoiding a conviction is the best way to stay off of this list, which could be detrimental to your future. It can affect where you live and where you work, as well as relationships. Your private information becomes public knowledge to the community you live in.

How are sex offenders classified?

Colorado uses an assessment, as well as a determination from the Colorado Department of Public Safety for out-of-state offenders relocating to Colorado. To be classified as an SVP, you must be 18 years old or more when the offense occurred, or a minor tried as an adult. Due to the enactment of the laws, the incident must have occurred after June 30, 1997, and the conviction after July 30, 1999. Attempting, soliciting or conspiring to crimes of sexual assault (adult or child), unlawful sexual contact or sexual assault on a child while in a position of trust is the criteria used for SVP classification.

An assessment instrument is then used to evaluate for mental issues, check for prior sexual convictions and risk factors for future re-offense. This assessment is performed by the Colorado Department of Corrections. A recommendation is then made to the court or parole board, who ultimately makes the decision as to whether you are designated as an SVP or not.

What does SVP designation mean?

Being on the SVP list means that communities are notified of the presence of any SVPs in their area. This is done either by a public list that citizens can access on their own, an electronic notification that is sent out or by a public meeting that is held.

There are ways to avoid being on this list if you are charged with sexual misconduct. Having a good legal defense team is important. They may be able to get the charges dropped avoiding a conviction altogether. Second, they may be able to get the charges reduced, or persuade the court that you are not a risk for re-offense, which at the very least, may help you avoid the SVP list.

Source: Colorado Bureau of Investigation, "Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) and Community Notification Process," accessed Sep. 09, 2015

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