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Colorado Criminal Sex Crimes Law: What is the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children in Colorado?

Colorado Criminal Sex Crimes Law: What is the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children in Colorado?

Colorado Criminal Sex Crimes Law: What is the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children in Colorado?

A statute of limitations, sometimes known as a limitation of actions in civil cases, is a time period imposed by a legislature, during which a criminal proceeding or a civil action may begin. It is intended to promote timely and efficient disposition of cases because memories fade over time and evidence may be lost or damaged.

A criminal statute of limitations begins running with the commission of a crime and runs for some fixed period of time, depending on the class of crime. A limitation of actions in a civil case is a time period during which a civil action may be asserted by a plaintiff against a defendant or defendants.

The OLD Law Prior to 2006 in Colorado

Criminal

Colorado law prior to the 2006 legislative session. If no time limit exists for a specific crime, prosecution may commence at any time.

The crimes having no limit on commencing prosecution in Colorado are murder, kidnaping, treason, and forgery.1 Prosecutions for attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the aforementioned crimes are also not subject to any time limits.

Prosecution of sexual assault must commence within 10 years of the crime’s commission or, if the victim is a minor at the time of the offense, within 10 years after the victim reaches the age of 18.

There is no time limit for the prosecution of sexual assault if the identity of the suspect is determined by forensic DNA evidence.

The time limit for most other felonies is three years after the commission of the crime.

The NEW Law

Changes made in the 2006 legislative session.

The criminal statute of limitations was amended by House Bill 06-1088. The bill adds felony sex offenses against a child to the list of crimes for which there is no time limit for commencing prosecution, along with the attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any felony sex offense against a child. The bill defines a sex offense against a child as any of the following felony offenses:

• enticement of a child;

• sexual assault when the victim is less than 15 years of age;

• felony unlawful sexual contact when the victim is less than 15 years of age;

• sexual assault on a child;

• sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust;

• aggravated incest;

• trafficking in children;

• sexual exploitation of a child;

• felony indecent exposure;

• soliciting for child prostitution;

• pandering of a child;

• procurement of a child;

• keeping a place of child prostitution;

• pimping of a child;

• inducement of a child;

• patronizing a prostituted child;

• class 4 felony internet luring of a child;

and

• internet sexual exploitation of a child.

The bill takes effect on July 1, 2006, and applies to offenses that were committed on or after July 1, 1996.

The bill adds felony sex offenses against a child to the list of 16-5-401. Limitation for commencing criminal proceedings and juvenile delinquency proceedings.

(1) (a) Except as otherwise provided by statute applicable to specific offenses, delinquent acts, or circumstances, no adult person or juvenile shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense or delinquent act unless the indictment, information, complaint, or petition in delinquency is filed in a court of competent jurisdiction or a summons and complaint or penalty assessment notice is served upon the defendant or juvenile within the period of time after the commission of the offense or delinquent act as specified below:

 Murder, kidnapping, treason, any sex offense against a child,
 and any forgery regardless of the penalty provided:                             No limit

Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit murder;
attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit kidnapping;
attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit treason;

 attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any sex offense
 against a child; and attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation
 to commit any forgery regardless of the penalty provided:           No limit

Vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an
accident that resulted in the death of a person:                                   Five years

Other felonies:                                                                                   Three years
Misdemeanors:                                                                                   Eighteen months

Class 1 and 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses:                                          One year
Petty offenses:                                                                                    Six months

(c) For purposes of this section:
(I) “Delinquent act” has the same meaning as defined in section 19-1-103 (36), C.R.S.
(II) “Juvenile” means a child as defined in section 19-1-103 (18), C.R.S.
(III) “Petition in delinquency” means any petition filed by a district attorney pursuant to section 19-2-512, C.R.S.

(IV) “Sex offense against a child” means any “unlawful sexual offense”, as defined in section 18-3-411 (1), C.R.S., that is a felony.

(1.5) (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (1.5), the provisions of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section concerning sex offenses against children shall apply to offenses and delinquent acts committed on or after July 1, 1996.

(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section concerning sex offenses against children shall apply to an offense or delinquent act committed before July 1, 1996, if the applicable statute of limitations, as it existed prior to July 1, 2006, has not yet run on July 1, 2006.

(c) It is the intent of the general assembly in enacting the provisions of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section concerning sex offenses against children to apply an unlimited statute of limitations to sex offenses against children committed on or after July 1, 1996, and to sex offenses against children committed before July 1, 1996, for which the applicable statute of limitations in effect prior to July 1, 2006, has not yet run on July 1, 2006.
  
 (2) The time limitations imposed by this section shall be tolled if the adult offender or juvenile is absent from the state of Colorado, and the duration of such absence, not to exceed five years, shall be excluded from the computation of the time within which any complaint, information, indictment, or petition in delinquency must otherwise be filed or returned.
 
(3) (a) The period within which a prosecution must be commenced does not include any period in which a prosecution is pending against the adult defendant or juvenile for the same conduct, even if the indictment, information, complaint, or petition in delinquency which commences the prosecution is quashed or the proceedings thereon are set aside or are reversed on appeal.

(b) The period within which a prosecution must be commenced does not include any period in which a prosecution is pending against the adult defendant or juvenile for the same conduct, even if filed in a court without jurisdiction, when based on a reasonable belief the court possesses jurisdiction.

(4) When an offense or delinquent act is based on a series of acts performed at different times, the period of limitation prescribed by this code or by the “Colorado Securities Act”, article 51 of title 11, C.R.S., starts at the time when the last act in the series of acts is committed.

(4.5) The period within which a prosecution must be commenced shall begin to run upon discovery of the criminal act or the delinquent act for:

(a) Offenses relating to the “Uniform Commercial Code”, pursuant to part 5 of article 5 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(b) Computer crime, pursuant to article 5.5 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(c) Theft, pursuant to section 18-4-401, C.R.S.;

(d) Theft of trade secrets, pursuant to section 18-4-408, C.R.S.;

(e) Defacing or destruction of written instruments, pursuant to section 18-4-507, C.R.S.;

(f) Criminal simulation, pursuant to section 18-5-110, C.R.S.;

(g) Obtaining signature by deception, pursuant to section 18-5-112, C.R.S.;

(h) Criminal impersonation, pursuant to section 18-5-113, C.R.S.;

(i) Offering a false instrument for recording, pursuant to section 18-5-114, C.R.S.;

(J) Dual contracts to induce loan, pursuant to section 18-5-208, C.R.S.;

(k) Issuing a false financial statement or obtaining a financial transaction device by false statements, pursuant to section 18-5-209, C.R.S.;

(l) Unlawful activity concerning the selling of land, pursuant to section 18-5-302, C.R.S.;

(m) Offenses relating to equity skimming, pursuant to part 8 of article 5 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(m.5) Offenses relating to identity theft, pursuant to part 9 of article 5 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(n) Offenses relating to bribery and corrupt influences, pursuant to part 3 of article 8 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(o) Offenses relating to abuse of public office, pursuant to part 4 of article 8 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(p) Offenses relating to perjury, pursuant to part 5 of article 8 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(q) Offenses relating to the “Colorado Organized Crime Control Act”, pursuant to article 17 of title 18, C.R.S.;

(r) Unlawful concealment of transactions, pursuant to section 11-107-105, C.R.S.;

(s) Embezzlement or misapplication of funds, pursuant to section 11-107-107, C.R.S.;

(t) Unlawful acts or omissions relating to financial institutions, pursuant to section 11-107-108, C.R.S.;

(u) Criminal offenses relating to industrial banks, pursuant to section 11-108-801 (3), C.R.S.; and

(v) Criminal offenses relating to savings and loan associations, pursuant to section 11-41-127, C.R.S.

(5) The period of time during which an adult person or juvenile may be prosecuted shall be extended for an additional three years as to any offense or delinquent act charged under sections 18-8-302, 18-8-303, 18-8-306, 18-8-307, 18-8-402, 18-8-406, 18-8-407, 39-21-118, and 39-22-621 (3), C.R.S.

(6) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section pertaining to sex offenses against children, the period of time during which an adult person or juvenile may be prosecuted shall be extended for an additional seven years as to any offense or delinquent act charged under section 18-3-402 or 18-6-403, C.R.S., or charged as criminal attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the acts specified in said sections.

(7) When the victim at the time of the commission of the offense or delinquent act is a child under fifteen years of age, the period of time during which an adult person or juvenile may be prosecuted shall be extended for an additional three years and six months as to a misdemeanor charged under section 18-3-404, C.R.S., or criminal attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit such a misdemeanor.

(8) (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section pertaining to sex offenses against children and except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (a.3) and (a.5) of this subsection (8), the period of time during which an adult person or juvenile may be prosecuted shall be ten years after the commission of the offense or delinquent act as to any offense or delinquent act:

(I) Charged under section 18-3-402, C.R.S., section 18-3-403, C.R.S., as said section existed prior to July 1, 2000, or section 18-6-403, C.R.S.;

(II) Charged as a felony under section 18-3-404, C.R.S.; or

(III) Charged as criminal attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the offenses specified in subparagraphs (I) and (II) of this paragraph (a).

(a.3) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section concerning sex offenses against children, if the victim at the time of the commission of an offense or delinquent act is a child under eighteen years of age, the period of time during which an adult person or juvenile may be prosecuted shall be ten years after such victim reaches the age of eighteen years as to any offense or delinquent act:

Summary
Colorado Criminal Sex Crimes Law: What is the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children in Colorado?
Article Name
Colorado Criminal Sex Crimes Law: What is the Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes Against Children in Colorado?
Description
A statute of limitations, sometimes known as a limitation of actions in civil cases, is a time period imposed by a legislature, during which a criminal proceeding or a civil action may begin. It is intended to promote timely and efficient disposition of cases because memories fade over time and evidence may be lost or damaged
Author

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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
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The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
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