August 24, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Sex Offender Convicted of Class 3 Felony or Higher Must Receive Minimum of 20 Years’ Probation; Trial Court Has No Discretion to Terminate Probation Early

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Dinkel on February 28, 2013.

Probation—Sex Offender—Sexual Assault—Child Under 15.

Defendant appealed the district court’s order denying his motion to terminate his probation. The order was affirmed.

In 2002, defendant pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child under the age or 15 by a person in a position of trust, a class 3 felony. The trial court sentenced him to an indeterminate twenty-year-to-life term of sex offender intensive supervision probation (SOISP). In 2010, the trial court granted defendant’s request to modify his probation from SOISP to “regular Sex Offender Supervision.” In 2011, the trial court denied defendant’s request to terminate his probation in its entirety.

Defendant contended that the trial court had discretion under § 18-1.3-204(4)(a) of the Sex Offender Lifetime Supervision Act (Act) to reduce or increase a term of a sex offender’s probation, and its discretion is not limited by the provisions of §§ 18-1.3-1004(2)(a) and -1008(2) of the Act. Under the plain language of the Act, however, a sex offender who is convicted of a class 3 felony and sentenced to probation must receive a minimum of twenty years of probation. The Act has no provision permitting discharge of the sex offender’s probationary sentence before the twenty-year review. Thus, the district court did not have discretion to terminate defendant’s probation until he completed at least twenty years of the sentence.

Summary and full case available here.

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