In Colorado, child abuse is defined as any act or omission where a person causes injury to a child’s life or health, permits a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation where their life is being threatened, or engages in conduct that results in the injury of a child.
Child abuse can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the charge. Colorado’s child abuse laws are broken into 4 different sections: child abuse, sexual exploitation of a child, persons required to report child abuse or neglect, and reporting procedures.
In a child abuse case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant, in the state of Colorado, knowingly and with intent to cause the physical or emotional harm to a child, caused the physical or emotional harm of a child. If these elements are proven, a defendant will be convicted of child abuse.
The punishment for child abuse in Colorado ranges from 3 months in jail and a $250 fine for a Class 2 misdemeanor to a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for Class 2 felonies. In addition to these penalties, there are enhancing factors such as if the defendant has any prior criminal history or if the defendant was in a position of trust.
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