Behavior that induces a person under the age of 18 to violate a law, ordinance or court order is considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor under Colorado law. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a Class 4 felony in Colorado that carries penalties of 2 to 6 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
- 1. The Legal Definition of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Colorado (CRS 18-6-701)
- 2. What are the Penalties for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Colorado?
- 3. Defenses to Colorado Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor Charges
- 4. Related Offenses
Also see our related article on the Colorado crime of permitting an unauthorized minor to drive.
1. The Legal Definition of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Colorado (C. R. S. 18-6-701)
Colorado defines the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor as when an individual "induces, aids, or encourages a child to violate any federal or state law, municipal or county ordinance, or court order." The statute defines a "child" as any person that is under the age of 18. 1
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is considered a Class 4 Felony in Colorado. Class 4 Felony charges are punishable by imprisonment for a period of 2 to 6 years, and fines between $2,000 and $500,000.
In addition to any sentencing from the conviction, if a person is a current or former employee of a Colorado school district, or is licensed to teach in the state, their offense will be reported to the Colorado Department of Education.
When facing charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, you and your criminal defense lawyer may be able to raise several defenses, depending on the facts of the case. Potential defenses against these charges can include:
- You are the victim of a false accusation
- You were unaware of the fact that the minor was under the age of 18
- You are a parent and your child acted outside of your control; and/or
- The "minor" was not under the age of 18 at the time the offense occurred
There are a variety of offenses that are commonly charged in addition to -- or instead of -- Colorado Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. These include:
Section 18-13-121 C.R.S. of the Colorado criminal code prohibits giving, selling, distributing, dispensing, or offering for sale a cigarette, tobacco product, or nicotine product to anyone under 18. Selling tobacco to a minor is a Colorado petty offense that carries a fine of $200.
Colorado law prohibits individuals and licensed dispensaries from selling, transferring, or dispensing marijuana to anyone under the age of 21. The circumstances of the crime, including the weight of marijuana and the age difference between the adult and the minor, will dictate the severity of the charges. Severity may range from a level 1 to a level 4 drug felony.
Call Us For Help . . .
A criminal conviction can have a significant impact on your life. If you or someone you know has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, contact our experienced Colorado criminal defense attorneys today. You can reach our Denver office at (303) 222-0330, or contact us online.
- C. R. S. § 18-6-701