Colorado Law Governing Child Abuse

It is hard to imagine anyone hurting a sweet, innocent child but unfortunately, we live in a world full of atrocities.  Everyday, children are hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Colorado law takes any form of child abuse extremely seriously.

What is Considered Child Abuse in Colorado?

Any act of abuse that results in injury to a child’s life or health is considered Colorado child abuse.  Other conditions that warrant charges of child abuse, include knowingly putting a child in harms way, intentionally malnourishing a child, denying a child medical care, general mistreatment, extremely cruel punishment, injuries that result in the death or serious bodily injury of the child, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while hauling a child in the vehicle, mutilating a child’s genitals, and/or putting a child in a danger by allowing them to be at a location where illegal substances are being manufactured or present.

Consequences of Colorado Child Abuse

The penalties for Colorado child abuse are dictated depending upon the specific circumstances of each case.  Factors that are taken into consideration are whether the perpetrator acted negligently, recklessly, or knowingly, the severity of the injury and whether it led to the death of the victim, and how old the victim was at the time the abuse occurred.

Specific causes that involve charges for child abuse resulting in first degree murder charge are determined by factors, such as the child being under 12 years of age, intentionally causing the child’s death, and being in a position of trust in proximity to the child.  If convicted, you could spend up to life in prison and face the death penalty.

If you face charges related to child abuse that led to the death of a child that was perpetrated knowingly or recklessly, you will face a Colorado class 2 felony.  Serious consequences will result, such as a maximum of 24 years spent in prison, as well as fines of up to $1,000,000.  If the death of a child was a direct result of negligence, you will face a lesser charge of Colorado class 3 felony.  Penalties are still significant resulting in up to 16 years in prison and fines up to $750,000.

Serious bodily injury related causes of child abuse that were perpetrated knowingly or recklessly will result in a class 3 felony.  Consequences are up to 16 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

The court system will also take into consideration whether you have a prior record of child abuse.  In such cases, even if there was limited or no injury resulting from the abuse you could still be subject to a Colorado class 5 felony.  Typically, if there are no other extenuating factors child abuse that does not result in a serious bodily injury or death will only carry with it a misdemeanor.  Direct consequences are still significant and include up to a $1,000 fine and up to 18 months spent in prison.

If you find yourself facing charges for child abuse, don’t let your future to chance contact a skilled defense attorney today!

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About the Author: Alex Fisher