CO: Legal Paradox in Colorado: Dismissed Sex Offense Charge Leaves Man on Registry

Source: 2/21/24

Discover the legal anomaly that binds Derek Abram Dulac to a sex offender registry despite the dismissal of his sex offense charge. This case challeng

In the heart of Colorado’s judicial labyrinth, Derek Abram Dulac finds himself ensnared in a legal paradox that challenges the essence of justice and rehabilitation. His journey through the court system highlights a peculiar anomaly in the law, one that leaves a man tethered to a sex offender registry for charges that no longer stand against him. It’s a narrative that not only questions the efficacy of deferred judgments but also puts a spotlight on the rigidity of sex offender registration laws in the face of nuanced cases.

The Complex Web of Legal Decisions
Dulac’s ordeal began in 2018, when he entered a guilty plea for attempted sexual assault, a decision that set him on a path towards a deferred judgment. This legal option, designed as a second chance for offenders, allowed him to meet specific probationary terms with the promise of having the charge dismissed upon successful completion. In 2022, Dulac emerged ostensibly victorious; the sex offense charge was dismissed, marking what many would assume to be the end of a grueling chapter of his life. However, this was not to be the case.

The crux of the issue lies in Dulac’s simultaneous plea to two assault charges within the same case, leading to a separate four-year probation. Despite meeting all the conditions set forth by the court, the Colorado Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that would anchor Dulac to the sex offender registry. The court interpreted the law to mean that deregistration could only occur upon the dismissal of ‘the case’ in its entirety, not merely ‘the charge.’ Since Dulac’s case, inclusive of the assault charges, was not dismissed, he remained obligated to register as a sex offender.

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Sounds like it’s still better than CA laws in regards to this as our just completely ignore our dismissal regardless of anything that may or may not be on the persons record, and relegate tens of thousands of people to a lifetime on the registry with dismissed misdemeanors.

Judge’s need to step up and stop kicking the can back to the useless legislatures who are more focused on being reelected than doing anything that’s actually right. When a person gets to a point of not being able to live a life and has nothing to lose as a result, people will start paying for it.

He’s worrying about nothing because the registry is not punishment and doesn’t put you in harm’s way or make you unemployable or homeless. It’s just a formality! No biggie! He can “go on to live a normal life.”


Last edited 1 month ago by Facts should matter

Sounds about right. I got my California case dismissed 13 years ago and still have to register. Not sure what the point of expungement is anymore. Super fun explaining to employers that I have to register for something I don’t even have a criminal record for. On the bright side I can petition for removal in May this year so light at the end of the tunnel.

California courts don’t acknowledge 1203.4 dismissals, BUT they do acknowledge the 17(b) motion, unfortunately the 17(b) motion even if granted will not relieve a person of their duty to register but that doesn’t mean 17(b) is useless and doesn’t hold weight.
The reason the 17(b) motion is so important, is because when SB384 was passed it created a loophole to were a 17(b) will relieve you of your duty to register you just need a really good lawyer to get it done.
For example if a PFR can get their original conviction, reduced to a misdemeanor, it’s possible the DOJ will move them down to a lower tier and their mandatory minimum registration time period would be up. Second if a PFR has a felony FTR charge they can also get it reduce to a misdemeanor, So instead of doing 3 extra years on the registry they only have to do 1 extra year, which is a big deal because 3 years on the registry is a long time, Anything can happen within that timeframe, you could mess around and catch another FTR charge and never get off the registry.

This reminds me so much like my case in a way. I was given a plea agreement where the state agreed to support an expungement petition provided that I did not get a probation violation or a get convicted of any other crime in 10 years. At the time the state Supreme Court (via case law) allowed a judge to expunge anything even if it was statutorily not allowed. And the state (MN) expungement was far reaching in that it really did made it pretty much disappear.

So the judge even told me at sentencing – and I have the transcript ‘there is a mechanism to make this disappear so it doesn’t affect you for the rest of your life the state has agreed to support so I think that you probably understand what got you into this mess and what you need to do for this and will do everything necessary to make sure that you will be able to take advantage of this’

Meanwhile, in the time that followed the state Supreme Court changed expungement so that a judges expungement may only affect the judicial branch record and not the executive branch records like everyone involved expected it to do at the time of my sentencing. Furthermore as time went on the federal government and other states created laws that will put me on a registry if I go there despite having earned an expungement. The mechanism no longer works as promised but it would have works that way at the time in 1998.