Child Abuse Charges in Adams County
Most people can agree that when a child is injured at the hands of their parents or another adult, it constitutes Child Abuse under Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-6-401). However, what conduct constitutes Child Abuse when a child is not injured? Unfortunately, the statute is poorly written and leaves a lot of room for interpretation by prosecutors in Adams and Broomfield County.
Child Abuse Charges in Douglas County
One case that comes to mind was when a client who was a wonderful parent and charged with Child Abuse in Douglas County. One of her teenaged children called the police because he believed one of his friends was about to drive drunk. While he was outside of the house on the phone with the police, he made an offhand comment about the door to the house being shut. When the police arrived, they accused our client of child abuse because they thought she had locked her teenaged son out of the house, which was patently false. Even though her son was adamant that he was fine, the police insisted on bringing charges. Luckily, we were able to convince the Douglas County District Attorney to dismiss the charges.
Jefferson County Definition of Child Abuse
The definition of Child Abuse in Jefferson County states that "A person commits child abuse if such person causes an injury to a child's life or health, or permits a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury to the child's life or health, or engages in a continued pattern of conduct that results in malnourishment, lack of proper medical care, cruel punishment, mistreatment, or an accumulation of injuries that ultimately results in the death of a child or serious bodily injury to a child" (C.R.S. 18-6-401).
Arapahoe County Negligence of a Child is a Misdemeanor Crime
If a person acts knowingly or recklessly in causing such risk of injury, this crime is a class 2 misdemeanor. If a person acts with criminal negligence, is a Class 3 misdemeanor. In Colorado, the max penalty for a Class 3 misdemeanor is up to 6 months in jail and/or a $750 fine.
Denver Child Abuse Defense Attorney
Many times, misdemeanor Child Abuse in Colorado is in the eye of the beholder. This is defined by whatever a prosecutor happens to think about a given case. Don't let the government decide what conduct makes you a bad parent. The law is still up for interpretation in this area. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to litigate these issues to a jury. So, if you are contacted by the police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the law office of O'Malley and Sawyer today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.