How the "Sex Offender Registry" Works in Colorado

The Colorado sex offender registry

Conviction of a Colorado sex crime can result in more than just a fine and/or a stint in prison or jail.

If you are found guilty of (or plead guilty or no contest to) a sex crime, you will be required to register as a sex offender. By law, you must provide personal information on a regular basis to the local chief of police or county sheriff in all jurisdictions where you reside, whether in Colorado or another state.

In addition, if you were at least 18 (or were tried as an adult) and you were convicted of a felony sex offense, your name and information may be listed on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's felony sex offender registry.

Your information may also appear on your local law enforcement agency's website as well as Colorado's aggregated Unified Sex Offender Registry System ("SOTAR"). SOTAR gives the public a single website from which to search for sex offenders who appear on the registries of over 30 participating Colorado law enforcement agencies (listed at the end of this article).

To help you better understand Colorado's sex offender registration requirements, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers discuss the following, below:

1. Who is required to register as a Colorado sex offender?

You are required to register as a Colorado sex offender if:

  • You were convicted in Colorado on or after 7/1/91 of an unlawful sexual offense;
  • You were convicted on or after 7/1/91 in another state or jurisdiction (including U.S. federal or military jurisdiction) of an offense that would have constituted an unlawful sex offense if committed in Colorado;
  • You were released on or after 7/1/91 from any Department of Corrections after having served a sentence for an unlawful sexual offense; or
  • On or after 7/1/94, you were convicted of, or released after serving a sentence for, the commission of or attempt to commit any of the following offenses:
    • Sexual assault -- 18-3-402 C.R.S.
    • Sexual assault in the first degree -- 18-3-402 C.R.S. -- as it existed prior to July 1, 2000.
    • Sexual assault in the second degree --18-3-403 C.R.S. -- as it existed prior to July 1, 2000.
    • Unlawful sexual contact -- 18-3-404 C.R.S – or sexual assault in the third degree --18-3-404 C.R.S -- as these crimes existed prior to July 1, 2000.
    • Sexual assault on a child -- 18-3-405 C.R.S.
    • Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust -- 18-3-405.3 C.R.S.
    • Sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist -- 18-3-405.5 C.R.S.
    • Enticement of a child -- 18-3-305 C.R.S.
    • Incest -- 18-6-301 C.R.S.
    • Aggravated incest -- 18-6-302 C.R.S.
    • Trafficking in children -- 18-3-502 C.R.S.
    • Sexual exploitation of children -- 18-6-403 C.R.S.
    • Procurement of a child for sexual exploitation -- 18-6-404 C.R.S.
    • Indecent exposure -- 18-7-302 C.R.S.
    • Soliciting for child prostitution -- 18-7-402 C.R.S.
    • Pandering of a child -- 18-7-403 C.R.S.
    • Procurement of a child --18-7-403.5 C.R.S.
    • Keeping a place of child prostitution --18-7-404 C.R.S.
    • Pimping of a child -- 18-7-405 C.R.S.
    • Inducement of child prostitution -- 18-7-405.5 C.R.S.
    • Patronizing a prostituted child -- 18-7-406 C.R.S.
    • Sexual conduct prohibited under 18-7-701 C.R.S.
    • Wholesale promotion of obscenity to a minor -- 18-7-102(1.5) C.R.S.
    • Promotion of obscenity to a minor -- 18-7-102(2.5) C.R.S.
    • Class 4 felony internet luring of a child --18-3-306 (3) C.R.S.
    • Internet sexual exploitation of a child -- 18-3-405.4 C.R.S.
    • Public indecency -- 18-7-301(2.b) C.R.S.: third or subsequent offense or second offense committed within five years of a previous offense;
    • Invasion of privacy for sexual gratification -- 18-3-405.6 C.R.S.
    • Second-degree kidnapping -- 18-3-302(3)(a) C.R.S.

For more information on any of these offenses, please feel free to browse our pages on:

2. The definition of a "sexually violent predator" (Colorado SVP)

Under 16-13-902 (5), C.R.S.:

“Sexually violent predator” means a sex offender who is identified as a sexually violent predator pursuant to section 18-3-414.5, C.R.S., or who is found to be a sexually violent predator or its equivalent in any other state or jurisdiction, including but not limited to a military or federal jurisdiction. For purposes of this subsection (5), “equivalent”, with respect to an offender found to be a sexually violent predator or its equivalent, means a sex offender convicted in another state or jurisdiction, including but not limited to a military, tribal, territorial, or federal jurisdiction, who has been assessed or labeled at the highest registration and notification levels in the jurisdiction where the conviction was entered and who satisfies the age, date of offense, and conviction requirements for sexually violent predator status pursuant to Colorado law.

18-3-414.5 (1)(a), C.R.S. provides:

“Sexually violent predator” means an offender:

(I) Who is eighteen years of age or older as of the date the offense is committed or who is less than eighteen years of age as of the date the offense is committed but is tried as an adult pursuant to section 19-2-517 or 19-2-518, C.R.S.;

(II) Who has been convicted on or after July 1, 1999, of one of the following offenses, or of an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one of the following offenses, committed on or after July 1, 1997:

(A) Sexual assault, in violation of section 18-3-402 or sexual assault in the first degree, in violation of section 18-3-402, as it existed prior to July 1, 2000;
(B) Sexual assault in the second degree, in violation of section 18-3-403, as it existed prior to July 1, 2000;
(C) Unlawful sexual contact, in violation of section 18-3-404(1.5) or (2) or sexual assault in the third degree, in violation of section 18-3-404(1.5) or (2), as it existed prior to July 1, 2000;
(D) Sexual assault on a child, in violation of section 18-3-405; or
(E) Sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, in violation of section 18-3-405.3;
(III) Whose victim was a stranger to the offender or a person with whom the offender established or promoted a relationship primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization; and
(IV) Who, based upon the results of a risk assessment screening instrument developed by the division of criminal justice in consultation with and approved by the sex offender management board established pursuant to section 16-11.7-103(1), C.R.S., is likely to subsequently commit one or more of the offenses specified in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a) under the circumstances described in subparagraph (III) of this paragraph (a).
(b) “Convicted” includes having received a verdict of guilty by a judge or jury, having pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, or having received a deferred judgment and sentence.

3. What is the sex offender registry used for?

The sex offender registry is used by both law enforcement agencies and the public. It allows people to search for convicted sex offenders living in their area.

In addition, local law enforcement agencies are specifically notified of convicted sex offenders in their jurisdiction when:

  • A person who is required to register fails to do so,
  • A person re-registers in another jurisdiction, or
  • Someone has been designated a Colorado "sexually violent predator," as defined above. 

Also see our article about sentencing sex offenders.

4. What information appears on the registry?

When you register, you are required to provide: 

  • Name (including aliases);
  • Instant messaging and chat room identities;
  • Registration status;
  • Date of birth;
  • Address;
  • Place of employment;
  • Physical description;
  • Photograph; and
  • Full set of fingerprints. 

5. Will my name be disclosed to the public?

Your information will not be publicly posted if:

  • You were under the age of 18 and convicted as a juvenile, or
  • You were convicted solely of a misdemeanor.

Otherwise, Colorado law enforcement may (but is not required to) post your information publicly. If you are listed on a sex offender website, in addition to identifying information and a photo, your entry may include:

  • A list of your crimes and dates of conviction;
  • Your identification (if applicable) as a multiple offender and/or sexually violent predator; and
  • Modus operandi information (details of predatory habits), if known.

6. What are my obligations as a sex offender?

If you are required to register as a Colorado sex offender, you must update your information annually on your birthday, or every 3 months if convicted of a so-called “quarterly” offense.

Sex offenders must also re-register whenever they change or add an address or legally change their name.

Additionally, if you work at, are enrolled in, or volunteer for an institution of higher education, you must re-register when they you begin your work or study and anytime you change your work status or location at the institution.

And finally, if you live in a trailer or motor home, you must update your information anytime you move it another location.

7. Offenses requiring quarterly registration

Those who must register on a quarterly basis include:

  • Anyone classified as a “sexually violent predator”; 
  • Anyone convicted in another state or jurisdiction of an offense which would require registration if committed in Colorado; and
  • Those convicted in Colorado as an adult for:
    • felony sexual assault;
    • first degree felony sexual assault (prior to July 1, 2000);
    • second degree felony sexual assault (prior to July 1, 2000);
    • sexual assault on a child;
    • sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust;
    • sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist;
    • incest; or
    • aggravated incest.

8. Are there restrictions on where I can live in Colorado?

Colorado law does not restrict sex offenders from living within any particular proximity of schools, parks, or other areas frequented by children.

9. How long will I remain on the registry?

If you are adjudged a sexually violent predator, you will remain on the Colorado sex offender registry for life.

Otherwise, you can petition the court to have your name removed from the registry after a certain time period has passed from your full release from the court's jurisdiction (and provided you have no further convictions for sex offenses during that time). The time period depends on what your original conviction was for.

Applicable classes of offenses and the corresponding minimum periods after which you can petition to discontinue sex offender registration are:

  • Class 1, 2 or 3 felony  -- after 20 years;
  • Class 4, 5 or 6 felony -- after 10 years;
  • Misdemeanor 1 sexual assault -- after 10 years;
  • Misdemeanor 1 sexual contact -- after 10 years;
  • Other misdemeanors -- after 5 years;
  • Deferred sentence -- after successful completion and dismissal of the case;
  • Deferred adjudication -- after successful completion and dismissal of the case;
  • Under 18 -- after dismissal of the case;
  • Failure to register -- 1 year following full compliance.

10. How do I petition for removal from the registry?

Once you are eligible for removal from the Colorado sex offender registry, you can fill out a form to discontinue sex offender registration pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes section 16-22-113, C.R.S. 

Before you can file your petition, you will need to notify:

  • law enforcement agencies with which you are required to register, 
  • the prosecuting attorney for the jurisdiction in which such law enforcement agency is located, and 
  • the prosecuting attorney who obtained the conviction requiring the registration.

There is no fee for filing the petition if you reside in Colorado. However, there may be fees involved for obtaining copies of necessary records. If you are filing a petition from another state that requires you to register, there is a filing fee of $224.

11. Failure to register as a sex offender

Failure to register as a sex offender is a Colorado class 6 felony. Penalties for failing to register as a Colorado sex offender can include:

  • A fine of $1,000-$100,000 and/or
  • 1 – 1 ½ years imprisonment.

Your failure to register may also be publicly noted on the Colorado sex offender registry.

12. Additional internet resources

For more information regarding your rights and obligations under Colorado's sex offender registry, see:

13. List of Colorado law enforcement agencies that use SOTAR 

  • Douglas County Sheriff's Office
  • Adams County Sheriff's Office
  • Alamosa City Police Department
  • Alamosa County Sheriff's Office
  • Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
  • Arvada Police Department
  • Ault Police Department
  • Aurora Police Department
  • Avon Police Department
  • Basalt Police Department
  • Black Hawk Police Department
  • Boulder County Sheriff's Office
  • Broomfield Police Department
  • Canon City Police Department
  • Castle Rock Police Department
  • Central City Police Department
  • Colorado Bureau of Investigation
  • Craig Police Department
  • Dacono Police Department
  • Delta Police Department
  • Denver Police Department
  • Douglas County Sheriff's Office
  • Eagle County Sheriff's Office
  • Eagle Police Department
  • Elbert County Sheriff's Office
  • Elizabeth Police Department
  • Evans Police Department
  • Federal Heights Police Department
  • Firestone Police Department
  • Fountain Police Department
  • Fort Collins Police Services
  • Fort Lupton Police Department
  • Frederick Police Department
  • Fruita Police Department
  • Garfield County Sheriff's Office
  • Gilpin County Sheriff's Office
  • Glendale Police Department
  • Golden Police Department
  • Grand Junction Police Department
  • Greeley Police Department
  • Greenwood Village Police Department
  • Idaho Springs Police Department
  • Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
  • Johnstown Police Department
  • Kersey Police Department
  • Lafayette Police Department
  • Lakewood Police Department
  • La Junta Police Department
  • La Plata County Sheriff's Office
  • Leadville Police Department
  • Littleton Police Department
  • Lochbuie Police Department
  • Lone Tree Police Department
  • Longmont Police Department
  • Loveland Police Department
  • Mesa County Sheriff's Office
  • Milliken Police Department
  • Minturn Police Department
  • Moffat County Sheriff's Office
  • Montrose County Sheriff's Office
  • Otero County Sheriff's Office
  • Pagosa Springs Police Department
  • Palisade Police Department
  • Parker Police Department
  • Platteville Police Department
  • Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
  • Rifle Police Department
  • Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office
  • Routt County Sheriff's Office
  • San Miguel County Sheriff's Office
  • Sheridan Police Department
  • Silt Police Department
  • Telluride Marshal's Office
  • Vail Police Department
  • Washington County Sheriff's Office
  • Weld County Sheriff's Office
  • Westminster Police Department
  • Wheat Ridge Police Department
  • Windsor Police Department
  • United States Marshal Service

Call us for help...

If you or a loved one has been charged with a Colorado sex offense, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. Find out why we are considered among the best sex crimes lawyers in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado.

Simply fill out the form on this page and one of our experienced Colorado criminal attorneys will respond to you promptly to discuss your case.

Or call us at our Denver office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
4047 Tejon Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 222-0330

In California? See our article on the California sex registry.

In Nevada? See our article on the Nevada sex registry.



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