Licensed individuals, such as doctors and teachers, are required by law in Colorado to report suspected child abuse or neglect. These professionals are held to a high standard when it comes to following the necessary steps of reporting child abuse and neglect. Additionally, these employees often work with minors and hold a position of trust. If they suspect instances of sexual, physical, or mental / emotional abuse, they are legally bound to report such findings to the appropriate agencies. Failing to do so can result in a class 3 misdemeanor. Representation from a skilled Denver mandatory reporting attorney is critical if facing charges.
What is Mandatory Reporting in Colorado?
Persons Required to Report Child Abuse or Neglect C.R.S. 19-3-304 defines the circumstances for mandatory reporting. A few of the key elements include:
- any person in a specified position or occupation,
- knows or suspects a child has been experiencing abuse or neglect,
- or has been put in circumstances or conditions that could reasonably result in abuse or neglect,
- must immediately report their findings to the county department, local law enforcement, or child abuse reporting hotline system
Failing to report child abuse includes criminal penalties involving fines and possible jail time. Important to note that there are no criminal penalties for issuing a mistaken report, but reporting a knowingly false claim of child abuse is also a misdemeanor offense.
Who is Required to Report Child Abuse in Colorado?
Citizens in positions of trust, medical professionals, teachers, clergy, and therapists are generally the more prominent mandatory reporters in Colorado. Others include:
- child health associates
- medical examiners or coroners
- registered nurses
- hospital employees involved in admission, care, or treatment of patients
- Christian science practitioners
- public / private school officials and employees
- social workers
- mental health professionals
- dental hygienists
- physical therapists
- peace officers
- victims advocates
- licensed professional counselors
- marriage and family therapists
- coaches and assistant coaches
Consequences for Failure to Report Child Abuse in Colorado
In Colorado, failure to report child abuse and neglect is a class 2 misdemeanor. This conviction comes with a potential county jail sentence of up to 4 months and a fine of $50 – $750. In some cases, those who fail to report abuse can be held financially liable for the harm or injury of a child after the professional was made aware of the abuse. Additionally, employers might choose to discipline those who failed to report child abuse or deem them unfit to act in their role, leading to termination. Consequently, expert council from a Denver mandatory reporting attorney is vital to your future if you're facing charges.
Denver Mandatory Reporting Attorney | Lawyers to Help
Whether you hesitated to report something suspicious or felt you needed all the facts before making headlines, expert council is a phone call away. Our defense attorneys have decades of combined experience working with law enforcement, district attorneys, and judges in the Denver area. We prioritize your best possible outcome and work diligently to preserve your reputation.
If you or someone you know is facing failure to report child abuse, be smart. Contact the expert defense attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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