Charged with Colorado Springs Sexual Assault? Fight Back
Being charged with sexual assault, or even being suspected of it, can be a traumatic experience for all involved. If you are convicted, you face felony penalties that include years in prison – not to mention the stain on your reputation after you are released, as well as the requirement to register as a sex offender.
At the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant, we understand that sexual assault charges can alter a person’s life forever, which is why we use our years of experience to help our clients formulate a robust defense against these heinous charges.
The state of Colorado takes rape and sexual assault seriously, which is why you now need a serious defense and an understanding of how the laws surrounding sexual assault in Colorado can impact your life.
Let the experts at the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant guide you through the process and help you gain the insight and understanding of these charges you need to beat them.
Understanding Colorado Sexual Assault Charges
In Colorado, you are guilty of sexual assault if you inflict sexual penetration or intrusion on another person and:
- Do so against their will
- The victim is unable to understand what is happening or what they are doing
- The victim believes you to be their spouse falsely
- You have direct authority, either disciplinary or supervisory, against the victim, and that is why they submitted to the act
- The victim is in the custody of or detained by police, a hospital, or some other institution
- The victim is unable to consent due to physical helplessness
- The crime was perpetrated under the pretext of a medical examination or service
Under the law, sexual penetration is defined as fellatio, analingus, cunnilingus, anal intercourse, and sexual intercourse. Any type of penetration is enough to fulfill the elements of the crime. Sexual intrusion is specified under the law as any type of intrusion by a body part or object into the body of another in a sexual manner.
What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Colorado Springs?
Since Colorado views sexual assault as a serious crime, the penalties you can face if found guilty are also quite serious. Sexual assault crimes in our state are felonies and carry the potential for indeterminate prison sentences and costly court fines. An indeterminate sentence means that the judge would sentence you to a minimum number of years in the Department of Corrections, and they would be able to incarcerate you up to the rest of your natural life.
However, the amount of time you may spend behind bars and the fines to be paid depend on the nature of the sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Without the Use of Force
For sexual assault cases where the victim did not sustain serious injury, and there was no force used, Colorado will prosecute it as a Class 4 felony. If found guilty, you can potentially face a sentencing range of 2 to 6 years to life and fines of $500,000.00. A judge would sentence someone to a number within that range, say four years, and someone’s sentence would be four years to life.
Sexual Assault with the Use of Drugs or Force
For sexual assault cases where force was used, or a drug was used to subdue the victim, a Class 3 felony is charged. This applies in cases where drugs were given without consent, there were threats made of retaliation in the future against the victim or another person, there were threats of physical violence or force used, or there was a threat of imminent serious bodily injury, intense pain, kidnapping, or death used in the commission of the crime.
If found guilty, you would face a range of 4 to 12 years to life and be made to pay fines of as much as $750,000.00.
Violent Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can be elevated to a Class 2 felony in circumstances where a deadly weapon was present, the victim suffered what serious bodily injury, or another person or persons aided in the crime is.
Under the law, serious bodily injury is identified as an injury that involves permanent disfigurement, substantial risk of death, burns in the second or third degree, or impairment of an organ or body part.
This Class 2 felony is punishable by a prison sentence of 8 to 24 years to life and fines amounting to $1 million.
It is vital to note that when a deadly weapon is used in the commission of this crime, then the state of Colorado will consider it a crime of violence. This can result in more severe penalties if found guilty, including life in prison.
Statutory Rape in Colorado
There is no explicit charge of statutory rape in Colorado. The matter is still considered a sexual assault, but the age of both parties will determine the severity of the charge and the potential penalties.
In Colorado, the age of consent is 17. The only exception is if one party is 17 and the other party is in a position of trust as it relates to the 17-year-old. Think teacher, coach, or boss if you wonder what position of trust means. In a situation like that, 18 is the age of consent.
It is a Class One Misdemeanor Sexual Assault on a Child if the victim is 14 years or under and the other party is more than four years older than the victim. This is the charge that most people will equate with statutory rape, and the common example they think of is the high school senior dating a freshman.
Consent is not a defense to this charge. You can also not argue mistakes of fact. An example would be, “She told me was 18.” That does not matter in this situation.
It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to have sexual contact with a 15- or 16-year-old if you are more than ten years older than them. That means it is not a crime for a 23-year-old to have sex with a 15-year-old in Colorado – if it was a consensual encounter.
Someone would run afoul of this law, however, if they are 26 or older and have intercourse with a 15-year-old, or 27 or older and have intercourse with a 16-year-old. A person could be sentenced to jail for up to two years and make them responsible for fines of as much as $5,000.00.
Again, even if someone falls within the age range of either of the above two charges, if they are in a position of trust as it relates to the younger party, the age of consent becomes 18 and it is a sexual assault.
Each of the sexual assault charges a person can face in Colorado is serious. That is why contacting the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant as soon as possible when you are accused of these crimes is vital to your future.
Sex Offender Registration in Colorado Springs
Those convicted of sexual assault in Colorado must submit their names to the sex offender registry through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. When you move to a new area, those in the community will be alerted through this registry of your status as a sex offender. Additionally, being on this registry can impact your ability to get a job, maintain a professional license, and even limit where you can live.
You must provide identifying information to the CBI, such as your name, address, birthday, crime, date of conviction, predatory habits, and whether you are a sexually violent predatory. This information is then available to the public.
Let the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant Work for You
If you or someone you love is facing sexual assault charges in Colorado, then you need the expertise and guidance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant today to learn more about what criminal defenses may be available for you to help fight the charges against you and get your life back on track.