Statutory Rape Defense Lawyers in Denver
Statutory rape charges in Colorado can put serious potential penalties on the line, regardless of whether they are filed at the misdemeanor or felony level. For the accused, understanding the law and some ways to defend against statutory rape charges can be pivotal to the strength, outcome, and success of their case. So can Denver Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer, James Colgan.
With more than a quarter of a century of trial experience, Attorney James Colgan has a unique perspective, extraordinary skills, and deep knowledge of the law. That, along with his passion and commitment to defending the accused, is how he provides superior, strategic defense representation in statutory rape cases.
Call 720-909-6425 or email our firm for a free, confidential consultation 24/7.
We are ready to put our 25 years of criminal law experience to work defending you.
What is the Age of Consent in Colorado?
The age of consent, meaning the age at which someone is legally able to consent to sexual activity, is 17 years old in Colorado. Two exceptions exist to this law. Known as the “Romeo and Juliet” laws in Colorado, these exemptions include:
- The marriage exemption: Spouses can consent to sexual activity, regardless of age, under Colorado law.
- The close-in-age exemption: Children 15 or 16 can legally consent to sex with people who are within 10 years of their age. Under the age of 15, children can only legally consent to sex with people who are within 4 years of their age.
It’s crucial to note that these exemptions only come into play for instances of consensual intercourse. They do not prohibit the possibility of rape charges being brought for forced, non-consensual activity.
How Does Colorado Law Define Statutory Rape?
Statutory rape is any sexual intrusion or penetration with a minor younger than 17 (the age of consent in Colorado). As such, Colorado law sees statutory rape as a type of sexual assault.
What Are the Charges & Penalties for Statutory Rape in Denver?
Statutory rape charges in Colorado can vary according to the circumstances and the criminal history of the accused. In most cases, allegations are statutory rape are met with the charges and potential penalties shown in the table below.
Statutory Rape Charge
Class 1 Misdemeanor (Extraordinary Risk Crime)
Class 4 Felony
The victim is 15 to 17, and the defendant is more than 10 years older than the victim.
The victim is under 15, and the defendant is more than 4 years older than the victim.
Up to 24 months in jail
Up to 8 years in prison
Fines & Other Penalties
Up to $5,000
Up to $500,000
These charges and penalties can be filed even if the sexual activity is allegedly consensual. Additionally, it’s essential to point out that:
- The charges and penalties above assume no aggravating factors: For example, the use of force or serious injuries to the alleged victim can be aggravating factors in a case. So can the relationship between the alleged victim and the defendant if there was a relationship of trust between the two, like with a doctor-patient, a student-teacher, or a counselor-counselee relationship. With these factors or a history of prior sex crime convictions, the accused can face more severe charges and potential penalties.
- There can be other penalties in the event of conviction: This can include years-long parole obligations, the requirement to register as a sex offender in Colorado, court-ordered therapy, community service, and/or more. Beyond the court-ordered penalties, there can be other consequences, like the loss of custody, jobs, education opportunities, and more. That’s why a strong defense is crucial for the accused.
Sexual Assault on a Child: The Charges & Penalties
These charges can come into play when a defendant is accused of sexual touching (over or under clothing) without penetration when the victim is 14 or younger. Sexual assault on a child is usually filed as a Class 4 felony.
How Can I Defend Myself Against Statutory Rape Charges?
The circumstances of your case, the specifics of the allegations, and the evidence are just some of the factors that impact your best defense options. Generally, some strategies that can be effective in statutory rape defense cases include arguing that:
- There was confusion about the alleged victim’s age: Age may not have been overtly discussed, or maybe there was a specific misrepresentation about the minor’s age. Text messages, email exchanges, and other records of conversations may be helpful in establishing ambiguities or misleading statements about age.
- The allegations are false: Sexual contact, intrusion, or penetration may never have happened, and the allegations may have been cooked up for any number of different reasons. Proving that statutory rape did not occur can involve a combination of evidence that demonstrates credibility issues with the alleged victim, minimal probability of the sexual contact occurring, and/or outside motivations for making false allegations.
Denver Rape Defense Attorney James Colgan can provide you with more answers and advice about your rights and defense options, after hearing about your case. Depending on the circumstances involved, it may be possible to:
- Uncover additional evidence: New witnesses, videos, physical evidence, social media posts, and more may support the defense case and throw the allegations into question. Attorney James Colgan is skilled at reinvestigating all types of statutory rape and sex crimes cases to help his clients build the strongest defense cases possible.
- Discover holes in the prosecutor’s case: The arguments and evidence against the defendant can appear more solid than they actually may be. With a little digging, it may be possible to find one or more significant problems with the prosecution’s case. This can include anything from mishandling the evidence to purely circumstantial evidence that does not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
The bottom line is that, when you’re accused of statutory rape or any sex offense, there’s a lot on the line, and you may only have one chance to protect your rights and clear your name. Make sure you have the best chances when it’s time to go up against prosecutors and present your case in court. Make sure you have Denver Sex Crimes Defense Attorney James Colgan in your corner.
Choose a Denver Rape Defense Lawyer with a Record of Success: Contact the Law Office of James Colgan, LLC
If you or a loved one has been accused of statutory rape, you need a strong defense to have optimal chances of achieving a favorable outcome. If you are serious about having a strategic, persuasive defense, you need Denver Rape Defense Lawyer James Colgan. He and his experienced team are ready to help you:
- Understand your options: Know your rights and the choices available to you so you can make the best decisions at every juncture, from talking to police to having your day in court.
- Prepare your case: Collecting evidence, preparing witnesses, and possibly engaging expert witnesses can all be important steps to building a strong defense. Attorney James Colgan and his team can handle all of these details with flawless precision, giving you peace of mind that you have a solid, well-prepared defense.
- Anticipate and plan for the challenges ahead: Don’t get surprised in court. A surprise can upset your defense and be difficult to come back from. With Attorney James Colgan, you’ll be prepared for the various possibilities, so that you know what to expect and you’re ready to face it with your best foot forward.
- Guide you at every phase: It can be difficult to know what to do as a rape case proceeds through court, especially when deals may be on the table. James Colgan can advise and support you, answering your questions to help you at each step.
- Fight tirelessly for the best possible resolution: Attorney James Colgan strives to advance the rights, interests, and objectives of his clients, using all available resources in the tireless pursuit of optimal outcomes. When your freedom is on the line, that can make a major difference in your defense and in how your case is resolved.
Call 720-909-6425 or email our firm for a free, confidential consultation 24/7.
Trial-tested, diligent, and recognized for his record of success, Denver Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer James Colgan is the attorney you can turn to when it’s time to navigate the complicated legal system, put up the fight of your life, and set your defense case up for a successful resolution. He is known as a “pit bull in the courtroom” because he is relentless about seeing the best possible outcomes, whether that’s reduced charges, alternative sentences, dismissals, or acquittals.