Colorado Sentencing guidelines for sex offenders are very strict and leave Judges little discretion. In some circumstances, a sex assault conviction requires prison for an indeterminate amount of time–which could mean the rest of your natural life. The indeterminate sentencing is mandatory for some crimes and for some crimes it is discretionary meaning, if a Judge sentences a person to prison it is indeterminate versus a probation sentence.
In a recent case in Boulder, a young man was convicted of sex assault and the Judge was given two options. Prison was not mandatory but any prison would be an indeterminate sentence to the department of corrections which could mean a life sentence. The individual was eligible for probation. Now probation on a felony can include up to two years in work release or 90 days jail without work release as a condition of probation.
There is a huge outcry against the sentence. The sentencing statute created the outcry because of the limitations on the Judge. The Judge did not have the power to sentence the individual to a definite term in prison. The Judge was left with indeterminate which means the Parole Board will release you when you are no longer a threat or Probation.
Sex offenses are the most serious crime outside of homicide. The sentencing is harsh. The public outcry can be crushing. The legislature thought it would take the power away from the Judges in deciding how long a sex offender should serve in prison. Instead it has left Judges with the unenviable task of deciding if an individual deserves a potential life sentence or years and years of probation with a lesser amount of jail.
If you are charges with a sex offense. Seek experienced legal Counsel.