Child abuse is a crime in Colorado Springs that involves a person causing harm to a child or placing them in a dangerous situation. Charges can result from everyday activities where an accident occurs or when an adult places a child in harm's way. Last month, a Colorado woman was arrested and faces several charges (including child abuse) after a crash in which the car she was driving struck several lightpoles. Law enforcement discovered the woman was in possession of illegal narcotics and believe alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in the traffic accident. Representation from an expert child abuse lawyer is critical in situations involving child endangerment.
When is child abuse charged in El Paso County?
C.R.S. 18-6-401 defines the circumstances of child abuse in the state of Colorado. Charges result from situations where someone:
- causes an injury to a child's life or health,
- permits a child to be placed in a situation where a threat of injury to their life or health exists,
- engages in a pattern of malnourishment, lack of medical care, cruel punishment, mistreatment,
- DUI or DWAI with a child in the vehicle,
- allows a child to be in the presence of illegal drug manufacturing
As one can see, there are many circumstances where a lapse in judgement or unfortunate accident can lead to devastating criminal charges. Any situation involving alleged wrongs to children are pursued aggressively by law enforcement and prosecutors. Sometimes, however, a more appropriate charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor should apply.
Is Child Abuse a Misdemeanor or Felony in Colorado Springs?
Penalties for child abuse are often impacted by the age of the victim, whether the defendant acted knowingly, recklessly, or with negligence, and the severity of injury to the child. Typically, child abuse that doesn't result in serious bodily injury is a misdemeanor offense in El Paso County. Punishment may include up to 18 months in county jail and fines of $50 - $1,000. However, if a person has a prior conviction of child abuse in any state or is in a position of trust in relation to the child, abuse resulting in minor or no injury can be a class 5 felony. Additionally, situations where child abuse results in serious bodily injury are felony offenses, resulting in as much as 16 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and up to $750,000 in fines.
Colorado Child Abuse Defense Lawyer
Charges of child abuse may result in impactful criminal penalties that are felt by many. Substantial fines, years in prison, and immobilizing monitoring are all possible ramifications of conviction. In some cases, you may even face losing the ability to parent your child. Our expert child abuse lawyers understand that accidents happen and sometimes parents and caregivers make mistakes. Bystanders may completely misunderstand a certain situation and call the police. Either way, you need an experienced defense attorney by your side in court and when law enforcement tries to contact you.
If you or someone you know is facing child abuse charges, be smart. Contact the strategic criminal defense attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
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