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Grand Junction Sexual Contact Defense Attorneys

Sexual Contact Charges and Penalties: The Facts.

The legal definition of unlawful sexual contact in the Colorado statutes reads as follows:

“Sexual contact means the knowing touching of the victim’s intimate parts by the actor, or of the actors’ intimate parts by the victim, or the knowing touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the victim’s or actor’s intimate parts if that sexual contact is for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.” This offense does not include penetration or intrusion, but involves sexual touching, groping, or fondling.

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The Elements of the Crime: Unlawful Sexual Contact

For this act to be a crime, specific elements must be proven by the prosecutor, some of which are listed here:

  • The victim did not consent to the contact, or
  • The victim was physically helpless and unable to consent, or
  • The victim was impaired due to alcohol or drugs and was unable to evaluate or control the situation, or
  • The defendant is induced or coerced a child under eighteen to expose themselves or engage in sexual contact.

When a person is accused of this crime, the risk of incarceration is extreme, along with permanently damage to reputation, the potential loss of any professional license, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Sexual contact could be filed as a misdemeanor or felony. This offense is listed as a crime of “extraordinary risk,” allowing for enhanced penalties to be imposed. When any force, threat, or weapon is involved, the punishment is substantial.

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Penalties for Sexual Contact in Colorado

The penalties for unlawful sexual contact vary, based on the evidence in the case, and whether the charges filed are misdemeanor or felony.

  • Felony sexual contact: If force, intimidation, or threats are alleged to have occurred, the charge will be a Class 4 felony, with the risk of up to four years in state prison, a year on parole, and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Sexual contact with a child under 15: This crime is filed as “sexual assault” if it is alleged your fondle a child under 15 years old, and you are at least four years older than the child. The penalties imposed can be up to two years in state prison, or as severe as life imprisonment when force was used, or a child was injured.
  • Misdemeanor sexual contact: A Class 1 misdemeanor and crime of “extraordinary risk,” a conviction can result in a penalty of up to two years in prison and fines up to $5,000.

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The Risks

As the legal definition of “intimate parts” is the external genitalia, the perineum, anus, buttocks, pubes, or breasts of any person, a person could face charges for an accidental contact, or a non-sexually motivated slap on the buttocks during horseplay, or in a joking manner. Should the person feel deeply offended, they have the right to report the act as being unlawful sexual contact, with an innocent act leading to being trapped in the criminal justice system and forced to go to trial and prove their innocence. While the act may have been misguided and a bad choice, the ramifications can be severe, including losing employment, fines, jail time, and others.

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Why Choose Peters & Nolan, LLC?

If you or a family member is accused of unlawful sexual contact, ensuring your rights are protected by a qualified, experienced criminal attorney is of utmost importance. With early intervention in the case, it is far more likely that the damage to your freedoms, finances, and reputation can be reduced. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our team is professional, dedicated, and experienced in the critical legal strategies that could benefit our clients, including negotiating a plea, fighting for full exoneration, or having the charges dismissed. In many cases, the crime is a “he said, she said” situation, and without compelling evidence to support the accusation, may make it possible to have the charges dropped.

Call Peters & Nolan, LLC today at (970) 243-4357 to discuss defending against a charge of unlawful sexual contact.

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Contact us today for a Free Consultation

Call Peters & Nolan, LLC at 970-243-4357 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

About Us

Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.

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