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Colorado Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

The very first place to start in the defense of a Colorado Child Abuse Case is with the law – you MUST have a solid understanding of the law … I advise clients to carefully read the statute (law) they are charged under —

I believe in fully informing my clients of their rights and educating them on every aspect of their case….

Here are the Colorado Chld Abuse laws – (in summary format for better understanding):

Physical Abuse
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-103

Abuse or child abuse or neglect means an act or omission that threatens the health or welfare of a child in one of the following categories:

  • Skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, or death and either:
    • The condition or death is not justifiably explained.
    • The history given concerning the condition is at variance with the degree or type of such condition or death.
    • The circumstances indicate that the condition may not be the result of an accidental occurrence.
  • A controlled substance is manufactured in the presence of a child, on the premises where a child is found, or where a child resides.
  • A child tests positive at birth for either a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance, unless the child tests positive for a schedule II controlled substance as a result of the mother’s lawful intake of such substance as prescribed.

Neglect
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-1-103; 19-3-102

The term child abuse or neglectincludes any case in which a child is in need of services because the child’s parent has failed to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision that a prudent parent would take.

A child is neglected or dependent if:

  • The parent, guardian, or legal custodian has subjected the child to mistreatment or abuse or has allowed another to mistreat or abuse the child without taking lawful means to stop such mistreatment or abuse and prevent it from recurring.
  • The child lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian.
  • The child’s environment is injurious to his or her welfare.
  • The parent, guardian, or legal custodian fails or refuses to provide the child with proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical care, or any other necessary care.
  • The child is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian through no fault of such parent, guardian, or legal custodian.
  • The child has run away from home or is otherwise beyond the control of his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian.
  • The child tests positive at birth for either a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance, unless the child tests positive for a schedule II controlled substance as a result of the mother’s lawful intake of such substance as prescribed.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-103

Abuse or child abuse or neglectoccurs when a child is subjected to sexual assault or molestation, sexual exploitation, or prostitution.

Sexual conduct includes any of the following:

  • Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals
  • Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object
  • Masturbation
  • Sexual sadomasochistic abuse

Emotional Abuse
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-103

The terms abuse or child abuse or neglect include any case in which a child is subjected to emotional abuse. Emotional abuse means an identifiable and substantial impairment or a substantial risk of impairment of the child’s intellectual or psychological functioning or development.

Abandonment
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-102

A child is neglected or dependent if a parent, guardian, or legal custodian has abandoned the child.

Standards for Reporting
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-304

A report is required when there is reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.

Persons Responsible for the Child
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-103

Responsible personmeans a child’s parent, legal guardian, custodian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health and welfare.

Spousal equivalent means a person who is in a family-type living arrangement with a parent and who would be a stepparent if married to that parent.

Exceptions
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-1-103; 19-3-103

Those investigating cases of child abuse shall take into account child-rearing practices of the culture in which the child participates, including the work-related practices of agricultural communities.

The reasonable exercise of parental discipline is not considered abuse.

No child who, in lieu of medical treatment, is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with a recognized method of religious healing shall, for that reason only, be considered neglected. The religious rights of the parent shall not limit the access of a child to medical care in a life-threatening situation.

If you are under investigation for child abuse – or any other form of abuse — please contact my law firm immediately – day or night. 

If you intend to hire an attorney to defend you — do not wait .. take a pro active position.



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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
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