No matter what it is, being convicted of a crime while in the military can be devastating, with major consequences. As a result of your conviction, you could be sentenced to jail, fined, lose rank, or even be dishonorably discharged, impacting your military career. But while these penalties will have long-term effects on your life, there are crimes that could have permanent ones. When a military member is convicted of sexual assault, he or she can end up having to register as a sex offender.
While each state has different requirements for sex offender registration, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) lists all of the offenses that require such registration. Regardless of where you live, you could be labeled for the rest of your life.
What is the Impact of Being a Registered Sex Offender?
There is a national database that lists all registered sex offenders. This list enables the police to watch out for any questionable conduct and allows the public to search for you by name and see your status. Many people will search the database for sex offenders within a certain area prior to renting or purchasing a home.
Military members who are convicted of sexual assault must register in their home state and must stay on that list until their state allows them to come off of it. Many states require that an offender’s name remains on the list for 10 years from the date that the offender is released from jail. However, others require you to be registered for life.
In Colorado, the length of time that must pass before one can petition for de-registration is dependent upon the category of the crime:
- Class 1, 2, and 3 felonies: 20 years
- Class 4, 5, and 6 felonies: 10 years
- Class 1 misdemeanors: 10 years
- All other classes of misdemeanors: 5 years
After petitioning you must receive the consent of the court (a judge) before you no longer must register for the list.
However, even if you no longer are required to be on the sex offender registry, your past will likely still impact your present and future. Many states restrict where you are able to live and work, and whether you can have custody or visitation of your child. There is also inherent judgment and prejudice that comes from having been a registered sex offender.
Protecting Your Reputation – and Your Life
If you are labeled as a sex offender, it’s obvious that your life will never be the same. This is why it is so important to protect your rights with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced Colorado military attorney.
The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.
If you are a military service member and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!