The allegations of child abuse are sure to strike an emotional chord with law enforcement officials and the courts when they are made against you. Charges like this will turn your life upside down in an instant and being convicted of child abuse will impact your life for a long time to come and may include incarceration and other long-lasting penalties. Your reputation and your relationships with your family, friends, co-workers and others will suffer dramatically as well.
If you have been falsely accused of these charges, you need to contact Decker & Jones as soon as possible to stop the momentum moving against you and begin to mount a defense that will restore your standing with your children and with the community.
Parents and caretakers have the right to discipline their children as long as they follow the letter of the law. There has been much debate about this subject and what kinds of punishment are acceptable, but it very much remains a hot topic among Americans.
Some people are opposed to corporal punishment which includes physical discipline such as spanking. Others are fine with it as a form of discipline as long as it does not step over the line when corporal punishment becomes criminal child abuse. This is a problem that judges and juries often face when attempting to decide if child abuse has taken place. While some may disagree with your right to physically punish your child, it is important that they don’t confuse the limits and convict someone of child abuse when it does not meet that test.
The bottom line is that a parent can discipline their children, but it is never okay to cause an injury or inflict serious pain on a child.
Under Colorado law, a person commits child abuse if he or she caused an injury to a child’s health or life, or if they allow the unreasonable placement of a child into a situation that threatens the child’s life. Child abuse is also said to exist if the person engages in a continued pattern of conduct that results in malnourishment, a 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.
Other crimes that are identified as child abuse include the mutilation of the genitals of a female child, engaging in the manufacture of a controlled substance in the presence of a child or allowing them to be present when someone else is manufacturing a controlled substance.
Many parents also do not realize that getting a DUI with the children in the car is considered child abuse. You can also be charged if you use or possess illegal drugs where children are present, and you could also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor as well, which is a felony.
Because there are so many ways that child abuse can take place, the range of criminal charges varies. That means penalties will have a wide swing as well.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be charged with a class, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 felony. You can spend up to life in prison if you are a person in a position of trust and you knowingly cause the death of a child younger than 12 years old. A wide range of jail and prison times and fines will also be the case in many instances.
One of the other harsh penalties you can endure is that aside from a prison sentence if you are convicted you may face the permanent revocation of your parenting rights. Even in lesser cases, you could be subjected to a social services investigation and have your children taken away by the state. If you value your relationship with your children, you must take steps to defend all of your rights as soon as possible.
From our years of experience at Decker & Jones, we have seen numerous cases where one parent will accuse the other parent of child abuse. This is especially common when the two parents are in the midst of a divorce. Child custody is easily the most hot button topic in a divorce, and if both parents are seeking custody, to gain the upper hand, false charges of child abuse can be leveled in an attempt to gain an advantage in a custody battle.
It is also a common tactic to attempt to gain favor with the courts by using children to help make false accusations of child abuse as well. Unfortunately, children can be very persuasive when coached appropriately. It takes a trained expert to spot when a child has been coached. At Decker & Jones, we can spot this tactic when it happens and can take appropriate countermeasures to make sure the truth gets out.
The stigma of being accused of child abuse can be a heavy burden to bear. If you’ve been falsely accused, you must take immediate steps to safeguard your freedom and your reputation. At Decker & Jones, we understand that there may be multiple reasons why you have been accused of child abuse, especially when you and a spouse are engaged in a bitter custody battle and the accusation is made to
try and gain the upper hand.
At Decker & Jones, we will aggressively pursue the truth to expose the false nature of the accusations and expose the manipulative conduct of the person who made them.
We have nearly 30 years of combined legal experience and have provided people with compassionate and comprehensive legal services as they fight serious charges such as these. We will thoroughly evaluate your case and provide you with the best possible legal options for your situation.
Contact us today at our Golden or Denver offices at 303.279.1586 or by filling out our online contact form for a free consultation to see how we can put our skills and experience to work for you.