Child Abuse Penalties and Sentencing are Wide-Ranging
Raising children is a rewarding and worthwhile pursuit, however, at times it can be very challenging.
Often times, problems can arise that leads to criminal child abuse charges. If discipline is misconstrued or a situation misread by law enforcement they will err on the side of caution. Even without meaning to cause any harm to a child, a parent can find themselves in a very stressful and difficult legal battle. The charge of child abuse can carry with it unforeseen consequences that can stay with a person for the rest of their life.
If you or a loved one is facing child abuse charges, it is important to understand what you are being accused of, what penalties you are facing and how to defend yourself. James Newby Law can help explain the charges, help you understand the potential penalties and most importantly, provide a strong and effective defense.
What constitutes child abuse?
According to Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-401, “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.”
Like any law, the legal definitions of the types of child abuse can have meanings not normally considered child abuse by the public. Whether or not an act constitutes a threat of injury to the child’s life or health depends on the facts of the situation. Often times child abuse is charged in a domestic violence situation because a child is present when some sort of argument or physical altercation takes place.
Additionally, child abuse can be charged if a child is present during a DUI or other traffic offense. The legal ramifications of child abuse can stretch out for many years. Often the Department of Human Services will become involved if a person is charged with any type of child abuse.
What is the penalty for child abuse?
Criminal penalties for child abuse vary depending on the charge. Child abuse is an extraordinary risk crime and therefore carries harsher penalties than regular misdemeanors.
Child abuse which is the result of criminal negligence without injury is a class three misdemeanor carrying up to twelve months in jail. If the act is done knowingly or recklessly, without injury, it is a class two misdemeanor carrying up to eighteen months in jail. If the child is injured, but without serious bodily injury, the act is a class one misdemeanor with a possible penalty of two years in jail.
Felony child abuse is charged when there is death, serious bodily injury, or a second or subsequent offense. Felony child abuse carries with it the possibility of a prison sentence from one year up to life in prison depending on the level of abuse, the position of the defendant, and the result. In these cases and if you are in El Paso County you need an experienced felony lawyer in Colorado Springs.
Child abuse matters are highly complex and usually include a wide variety of conditions and extenuating circumstances that can have a significant impact on the severity of the charges. It is critical that you have an experienced defense attorney like James Newby representing you and helping you understand what you are facing and how best to proceed.
Before you say act or say anything that is used against you, call experienced child abuse defense attorney James Newby for a free consultation.