Colorado Child Molestation Charges? Protect Your Name and Future in Denver
Maybe being accused of serial murder. That might be worse than having to face charges of molesting or sexually abusing a child – but the race would be a close one.
Our society tends to take sexual violence against children very seriously, and those who face allegations are often guilty until proven innocent in all but their criminal legal proceedings.
How can you possibly stand a chance in a situation like this?
By enlisting the help of a skilled and experienced Denver criminal attorney who has successfully handled cases like this before. Someone who knows the ins and outs of these types of charges and how they come about.
Jeff Weeden is that lawyer. If he decides to take your case, he will look closely at the facts to understand exactly what you are being accused of, then listen to you to get your side of the story.
His goal will be to poke holes in the prosecutor’s argument and find evidence that can be used to get people to rethink their knee-jerk visceral reaction to hearing that someone molested a child. Many times, he has been able to get his clients’ charges reduced, or even dropped or dismissed.
A Denver Criminal Lawyer Who Understands Why Might Someone Be Accused of Sexually Abusing a Child in Colorado
When people hear words like “child sexual abuse” or “molestation,” it puts a certain picture in their heads about what happened. Sometimes, those pictures are fairly accurate. Other times, however, the incident is not nearly as bad as it sounds.
For example, did you know that simply touching a child’s buttocks, breasts, or genitals can be considered “molestation”? It all depends on whether the actions should be considered “inappropriate,” which is a huge gray area.
Many charges are the result of misunderstandings. Others may involve impressionable children being coerced into saying something they may not even really believe. Still, others are outright false accusations.
As a Denver sex crimes attorney, Jeff Weeden’s job is to get to the heart of what really happened, then use that information to formulate the strongest possible defense for his client.
In some situations, it may not have even been the accuser acting inappropriately, but law enforcement officials overstep their bounds and cut corners because they “know” someone is guilty.
Bottom line? Every story and every situation are different, and you need an advocate on your side who will look past the charge to see the human being whose life and future are on the line. In some cases, this may mean fighting for rehabilitation rather than punishment. In others, it could involve arguing that your rights were violated or that proper procedures were not followed. Or that the individual who reported the incident misread the situation.
Again, it comes down to the specific facts of your case.
Colorado Child Molestation Laws
In Colorado, child sexual abuse and molestation are covered under § 18-3-405. The statute is titled Sexual assault on a child, and it says:
“(1) Any actor who knowingly subjects another not his or her spouse to any sexual contact commits sexual assault on a child if the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.”
The salient points include:
- Sexual contact must occur.
- The alleged victim must be under 15, and the alleged perpetrator must be at least four years older.
- The alleged victim must not be the spouse of the alleged perpetrator.
The law goes on to say that this type of crime is a class 4 felony. However, it can be charged as a class 3 felony if any of the following are true:
“(a) The actor applies force against the victim in order to accomplish or facilitate sexual contact; or
(b) The actor, in order to accomplish or facilitate sexual contact, threatens imminent death, serious bodily injury, extreme pain, or kidnapping against the victim or another person, and the victim believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat; or
(c) The actor, in order to accomplish or facilitate sexual contact, threatens retaliation by causing in the future the death or serious bodily injury, extreme pain, or kidnapping against the victim or another person, and the victim believes that the actor will execute the threat; or
(d) The actor commits the offense as a part of a pattern of sexual abuse as described in subsection (1) of this section. No specific date or time must be alleged for the pattern of sexual abuse; except that the acts constituting the pattern of sexual abuse, whether charged in the information or indictment or committed prior to or at any time after the offense charged in the information or indictment, shall be subject to the provisions of section 16-5-401(1)(a), C.R.S ., concerning sex offenses against children. The offense charged in the information or indictment shall constitute one of the incidents of sexual contact involving a child necessary to form a pattern of sexual abuse as defined in section 18-3-401(2.5).”
Essentially, these boil down to the fact that the crime becomes a Class 3 felony if the perpetrator uses force or threats, or if they engage in a pattern of sexual abuse.
Penalties for Child Molestation Charges in Colorado
If you are accused of the molestation of a child, you may lose your job. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even family members could turn away from you. If the story hits the news, it is likely that you will be vilified by both the media and most people who see it.
All of this is bad enough, but the actual criminal consequences associated with a conviction are worse. Even for a lesser charge, you can face up to 16 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. If aggravating factors apply, the penalties increase to up to 32 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines. In either situation, you will have to be on Colorado’s sex offender registry for life.
You can be sure that law enforcement officials and prosecutors will be gunning for you as well because no one wants to be seen as someone who goes easy on people who sexually abuse kids. There is a high likelihood that you will be facing the maximum possible sentence and a motivated DA.
Where Denver Child Molestation Charges Are Concerned, Speed Matters
As mentioned above, police and prosecutors tend to go hard after people they believe to be guilty of these types of crimes. That not only means you are more likely to face the maximum possible penalties, though – they will also probably do everything they can to push you into taking a plea deal and admitting your guilt in those first few hours after arrest.
Often, they will do this by getting you in a room alone and trying to either intimidate you or pretend to befriend you. They will engage in whatever tactics the law allows – including flat-out lying – to ensure your conviction.
How do you combat this?
By not being in that room alone.
Call Colorado criminal defense attorney Jeff Weeden as soon as you are arrested or charged and invoke your right to remain silent until he can be by your side in those meetings. He will be able to advise you on what to say and do, and he will watch to make sure that the police and prosecutor follow the law.
Additionally, there are certain types of evidence that need to be collected quickly in these types of cases or you will not be able to use them in your defense. The earlier you enlist his services, the more likely you are to benefit from this.