Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, C.R.S. 18-6-701, is surprisingly a felony offense. And, when a person is convicted of this class 4 felony in Arapahoe, or Adams County, she will pay a heavy price the rest of her life.
The Basic Definition of Contributing to the Delinquency
A person violates the Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor statute when they encourage someone under 18 years old to violate any federal, state or municipal law. So, it is a crime to help a child violate the smallest of petty offenses in Lakewood, Edgewater, or Denver, or one of their municipal ordinances. Whether a person recruits a child to sell heroine in Cherry Creek High School, or a dad encourages his 16 year old son to violate section 66-34 of the Aurora Municipal code for illegal fireworks, the conviction will result in a serious class 4 felony for the adult.
It is noteworthy to point out that this statute does not restrict a Jefferson County District Attorney from filing charges against a minor for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. In other words, it is possible for a 17 year old girl to be charged in helping her younger sister violate the Douglas County curfew ordinance.
This Law is Unreasonable
I hope this law seems like overkill to you. I see it as one more example of how unreasonable laws are being used to punish decent people, including kids. In their zeal to protect children, or to look tough on crime, lawmakers in Colorado pass laws the average person does not fully understand until it becomes personal. When a man or woman is faced with the consequences of a Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor conviction, even if prison or jail is not imposed, there will usually be faced with supervised probation. Once under the thumb of a Douglas County probation officer, probationers are helpless to change unreasonable restrictions. If a felon successfully completes probation, the social stigma continues.
Competing in the Colorado job market is difficult with a clean criminal history record, but when an applicant has a felony conviction it becomes almost impossible to find a good job. Even low paying jobs such as carpet cleaners, and trash collectors are now requiring background checks. Many employers in the Denver area will discharge employees as soon as they become aware of a felony conviction. I don’t enjoy telling clients about the huge tax they will pay if convicted, but it is important that they know what they will face if convicted.
Here is some good news. The lawyers at O’Malley Law Office, P.C. have great success in fighting charges of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. So if you have been accused of this crime, we are ready to fight for you! Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.