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Unlawful Sexual Contact

Sexually motivated crimes carry serious penalties in Colorado, and unlawful sexual contact is no exception. The crime is sometimes referred to as sexual battery in other states and involves the nonconsensual groping or fondling of another person. It’s also similar to another sexually motived offense known as sexual assault except it doesn’t involve force or threats.

A conviction for unlawful sexual contact could potentially uproot your life as you know it. Since it’s a sexual crime, the stigma of having an arrest or conviction on your record could prevent you from future opportunities. You may have trouble finding employment, suitable housing, admissions into a university, or even the ability to obtain a loan. For these reasons and more, we highly recommend you seek legal representation if you’ve been arrested for unlawful sexual contact or any other sex offense in Colorado.

Denver Attorney for Unlawful Sexual Contact in Colorado

Sexual relationships are complicated and sometimes things can get lost in translation. Often a person is charged with unlawful sexual contact because they miscommunicated with the other party. Unfortunately, that won’t stop the state of Colorado from pressing charges. If you were accused of unlawful sexual contact, we highly recommend you contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..

Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. have years of experience defending clients against sex crimes including unlawful sexual contact. Attorney Martin can utilize that knowledge and his extensive resources to fight for your rights in court. Call (303) 725-0017 today to set up your first consultation free of charge. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area including Adams County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Broomfield County, and Boulder County.

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What Does Unlawful Sexual Contact Mean in Colorado?

It’s common for people to confuse unlawful sexual contact with sexual assault. However, they are two separate crimes that have distinct elements for each. Unlawful sexual contact involves the grabbing, touching, or groping of another’s intimate parts. The crime does include any nonconsensual sexual touching over the clothes of another person.

The full definition of the crime can be found under CRS Article 18 Part 3. The statute states a person is guilty of unlawful sexual contact if they do one of the following:

  • Subject a person to sexual contact when they don’t consent
  • Subject a person to sexual contact knowing they are incapable of consenting or understanding what is happening
  • Subject a person to sexual contact who is physically helpless
  • Subject a person to sexual contact while they are impaired by drugs or other intoxicants
  • Subject a person to sexual contact while they are detained in a hospital, institution, or law enforcement facility and you had supervisory/disciplinary authority over them
  • Subject a person to sexual contact by tricking them into thinking the action is simply a medical treatment or examination
  • Coerce or induce a minor under the age of 18 to expose themselves or engage in sexual intercourse with another for a personal sexual purpose

You cannot fully understand the crime of unlawful sexual contact without knowing the definition of consent. In Colorado, “consent” is defined as cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and knowledge of what is happening in that very moment. Stating a current relationship or past relationship existed between the two parties is not enough evidence to constitute consent was given during the act. It’s also not considered consent if the other party complied under the influence of fear.


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What Are the Penalties for Unlawful Sexual Contact in Colorado?

The punishment for unlawful sexual contact depends on the facts of the case. A first-time unlawful sexual contact offense without any aggravating factors is a class 1 misdemeanor. Since it’s classified as an extraordinary risk crime, the maximum sentence for unlawful sexual contact is quite high. The following are the maximum penalties for unlawful sexual contact in Colorado.

  • Up to 2 years in jail
  • A fine of up to $5,000

The judge will reclassify the crime to a class 4 felony if the court finds the victim only submitted because the offender was using one of the following:

  • Force
  • Intimidation
  • Drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants
  • Threats of violence to the victim or someone they know

Felony unlawful sexual contact in Colorado carries the maximum sentence of:

  • Up to 8 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $500,00

The crime of unlawful sexual contact is subject to a violent crime enhancement if during the commission of the offense one of the following occurred:

  • The offender threatened to use or possessed a deadly weapon
  • The offender caused serious bodily injury or death to another

If the court deems it a violent crime, then the maximum penalty for unlawful sexual contact is 5 years rather than 2 years.


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Colorado Sex Offender Registration

The penalties for unlawful sexual contact don’t stop at prison and expensive court fines. You’ll also be court ordered to register with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) as a sex offender. To do so, you’ll have to input personal information as well as your crime in the registry. Once you’re registered, the general public will be able to access your sex offender status. You must re-register every year according to your sentencing and the public will be notified every time you move to another community.

Failure to register as a sex offender is a crime in itself. If you fail to register with the CBI according to your sentencing, you’ll face a class 6 felony punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

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Additional Resources

Sex Offender Registry – Visit the official website of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to learn more about the CBI sex registry and the laws pertaining to it. Access the database to look up sexually violent predators, view their crime, find where they are on the map, and more.

Unlawful Sexual Contact Laws – Visit the official website of the Colorado Revised Statues to learn more about their sexually motivated crimes such as unlawful sexual contact. Access their statutes to learn legal definitions, aggravating factors, and other sex offenses in Colorado.


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Unlawful Sexual Contact Attorney in Denver, Colorado

Have you been accused of touching another person sexually without their consent? Are you unsure on how to approach your charges and save your reputation? If so, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. With over two decades of experience under his belt, attorney Martin may be just the lawyer you need. Find out more about Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. and your legal options by calling our offices today.

You can reach Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. by calling us at (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area including Jefferson County, Adams County, Broomfield County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, and Douglas County.