There are many absurd laws in Colorado. For example, did you know that in the City of Boulder, it is illegal to roll rocks on public property? The law states:
Obviously, the rolling of boulders is a big issue – think of the people put in danger from rolling stones? But what about skipping stones across the lake? Another absurd law is in effect in Pitkin County. Did you know it is illegal to have a snowball fight in a public park in Aspen? The law states:
You’d better not participate in a good snowball fight if you’re hanging out with your friends in the park. What you thought was a good-natured game of fun can result in criminal charges. Obviously, these laws are ridiculous – many similar laws are in effect in Adams, Jefferson, and Denver County. But, when I say that Incest may be an absurd law, most people will instantly disagree. But, in some situations, Incest charges can be just as ridiculous as a law against the rolling of boulders or the throwing of snowballs. Let’s take a closer look:
What is Incest in the Denver Area?
For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll look at Aggravated Incest – C.R.S. 18-6-302, which is charged in Douglas, Arapahoe, and El Paso County when a person knowingly has a sexual relationship with “his or her natural child, stepchild, or child by adoption.” Right off the bat, it doesn’t seem like this in an absurd law. Parents (even parents who aren’t related to a child), shouldn’t have sex with their children. But, as criminal defense attorneys with over 25 years of experience, we have seen this law applied in absurd ways. I’ll use an example to make it easy to understand:
The Story of Cassie and Tom: Incest Charges in Colorado
Cassie always needed a lot of attention. Her dad wasn’t there for her growing up, so she constantly sought for approval from men. One day, she met a man named Greg – he was 39 years old, but young at heart. People were surprised the 19-year-old Cassie was drawn to someone twice her age, but Cassie and Greg were in love and got married. A year into their marriage, Greg admitted he had a 20 year old son from a failed relationship when he was young. His son, Tom, was having a tough time and needed to come live with his father. He moved into the home with Cassie and Greg, and everything seemed to work out perfectly. But, as the months passed, Greg grew busier with his work, and Cassie grew lonely. She and Tom spent a lot of time together, and slowly, a relationship blossomed. After all, they are both 20 – young, and full of life. What they don’t know, is that their relationship is illegal. If reported, Cassie would face Aggravated Incest charges, because Tom is her stepchild.
The Incest statute doesn’t take into account consent or age of the “victim.”
The Absurdities of Incest Charges
There are a few absurd things in the Incest statute. For example, “child” is defined as “a person under twenty-one years of age.” In what world is a 20-year-old a child? An adult of this age can do everything but vote and drink – they can join the military, go to prison, get a job, and drive a car. Their parents no longer have any legal hold on them. Second, there is no consideration as to whether or not the relationship was mutual. In the case of Cassie and Tom, they were both consenting adults who engaged in a relationship. The third absurdity in the Incest law is the level of severity of the offense. If a person is convicted of Incest or Aggravated Incest, they will face an indeterminate prison sentence. The judge is unable to set the upper limit of the sentence, so they could spend life in prison. How is this justice? The law needs to take into consideration the age of the “victim,” whether or not they consented to the sexual contact, and also tone down the consequences.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Absurd Laws
While the likelihood of being arrested and charged for throwing snowballs in Aspen, or rolling stones in Boulder is small, there are other absurd laws, such as Incest, which can result in serious, life-changing consequences. Common sense tells us that consenting adults should be able to have relationships with whomever they choose. But, absurd laws are often charged throughout Colorado, regardless of common sense. This is why you need an expert criminal defense attorney on your side, advocating on your behalf. Getting your case dismissed is our top priority, and we work hard to present a strong case to a jury to support your acquittal.