Your Best Defense against Colorado Child Abuse Charges
It is a frightening and stressful time to be a parent. You have to worry about predators out to harm your children. Violence and sexual content in the media. Toys and other products made quick and cheap that can cause injuries to vulnerable little ones.
With all of that to deal with, on top of the normal responsibilities of parenthood, the last thing you need is the law breathing down your neck about how you raise your kids. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect children from abuse, that is exactly what is happening in many situations where child abuse charges are involved in Colorado.
Why? Because our laws are so concerned with keeping children safe that, at times, they criminalize parents for minor mistakes or accidents that not long ago would have been considered just a part of growing up.
It’s probably not surprising that child abuse charges can involve hitting or otherwise hurting your child. Or engaging in inherently dangerous behavior in their presence, such as driving drunk or using certain illegal drugs. Or having a pattern of negligent parenting that harms the health of your child.
However, they can also result from something like a kid falling out of a treehouse and breaking her arm. Or a school nurse calling a child protection agency because your child was not wearing gloves on a cold day, and it is her legal duty to report such instances.
Even if you feel like your charges are overblown, though, it is vital that you take them seriously. Child abuse and related charges come with incredibly severe consequences, including prison time, high fines, and the possibility of having your child taken away.
In his time as a Denver criminal lawyer, JeffWeeden has seen families absolutely destroyed by charges related to child abuse, and he knows how important it is to mount an aggressive defense against any allegations. He has helped countless people to protect their reputations and their families against these types of charges, and he understands what it takes to get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
Understanding What Child Abuse Means in Colorado
The reason child abuse charges in our state can be imposed for so many different reasons is that the statute is written in an incredibly broad way. It states:
“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.”
To break that down in simpler terms, child abuse in Colorado can involve:
- Causing actual injury to a child’s life or health
- Permitting a child to be in a situation that could potentially threaten their life or health
- Engaging in any behavior that causes or can be defined as:
- improper medical care
- cruel punishment
- accumulated injuries that lead to serious injury or the child’s death
The big bullet point there is that child abuse legally includes not just actual harm done to a child, but also the threat of harm by allowing them to be in a situation where they could be hurt.
What does that mean? Kids can fall off playground equipment and get injured – does that qualify? What if the child safety lock on the cabinet where you keep your cleaning chemicals breaks and your toddler gets into them?
These may seem like ridiculous examples, but we are using them to make a point. This is a law that largely lives in very gray areas. That means that you can potentially be charged for something very minor. It also means that a skilled WeedenLaw attorney may be able to effectively argue that your actions should not have constituted child abuse.
Denver Child Abuse Attorneys Who Know How to Work with the Right Government Agencies
One of the big things that differentiates child abuse charges from most other criminal matters is that there will be a number of government agencies involved with your case. This can include Child Protective Services (CPS), the Colorado Department of Human Services’ (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth & Families, and other agencies created to protect the interests of children.
Attaining the best possible outcome in your case means knowing how these agencies work and what you can do to work with them. Jeff Weeden has a clear understanding of the inner workings of these agencies and others. He knows how to interact with them to benefit your case and bolster your defense strategy.
Moreover, Mr. Weeden can help connect you to resources designed to get your family back on the right path after the ordeal is over.
Avoid the Severe Consequences of a Colorado Child Abuse Charge by Crafting the Strongest Possible Defense
Depending on the specific act or acts you are accused of engaging in, child abuse charges in our state can range from relatively minor class 3 misdemeanors to murder in the first degree. Even “minor” charges can have a huge negative impact on your future and your family though.
They can impact decisions related to child custody and visitation. Or they could cause you to lose your job or certain professional licenses. The mere fact that you will have a criminal record can make it far more difficult to do previously simple things, such as find housing, get a good job, or secure a loan.
The attorneys at WeedenLaw fight hard to keep these things from happening. We know just how destructive these kinds of allegations can be to families. We see ourselves not only as advocates for the person being investigated or charged, but for the success of your family itself. That means helping you craft the strongest possible defense to battle the accusations against you.
In order to do this, you have to reach out to us first. Call our Denver office at 720-310-2141 or fill out our quick and easy online contact form. Your initial consultation is free.