Crimes that are committed against children are taken very seriously in the state of Colorado. This includes child abuse, which occurs when someone harms a child under the age of 16 or puts a child in a potentially dangerous situation. The legal definition of child abuse is somewhat vague, so it’s important to understand what acts constitute child abuse in Colorado. Here are a few examples:
Driving Under the Influence With A Child in the Car
Many adults are surprised to find out they can be charged with child abuse if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car, but it’s true. Driving under the influence is dangerous, so anyone who is in the vehicle with you is at risk of being seriously injured. For this reason, engaging in this behavior with a child in the car is considered child abuse.
Failing to Fulfill the Basic Needs of A Child
If you are supposed to care for a child, it is your responsibility to provide the child with food, water, medical treatment, and other necessities. Failing to provide a child under the age of 16 with these necessities could be considered child abuse if it happens continuously. For example, sending a child to bed without dessert is not abuse because the child is not being harmed. However, if you refuse to provide a child with food for days at a time, this would be abuse since the child could suffer serious health problems.
Basically, if the failure to fulfill a child’s basic needs leads to malnourishment or any other health problem or injury, it is a form of abuse.
Manufacturing Controlled Substances With A Child Present
Manufacturing a controlled substance is considered child abuse if a child under the age of 16 is present. The child does not need to actually be involved in the manufacturing in order for the adults to be charged with child abuse. For instance, if the controlled substance is manufactured in the child’s home, this would be considered abuse regardless of whether the child witnessed the crime.
It also doesn’t matter whether or not the defendant knew a child lived in the home or was present at the time of the crime. The law specifically states that a defendant cannot use this argument to escape child abuse charges.
If you have been charged with child abuse, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will immediately begin reviewing your case and building a solid defense strategy. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.