Contact Us

    Please use the contact form to send us an email - and receive a response within 12 hours.

    Emergency? Call 720-220-2277 (24/7)







Map To Our Office
Read Out Blog
Case Evaluation
Charged With A Crime?

Understanding Parental Drug Use as Possible Child Abuse:  What Is the Law?

To better understand this issue and to view it in its proper context, here is the Colorado law regarding parental use of drugs as it applies to child abuse and neglect

Citation: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-1-103(1)(a)

Statute Text:

”Abuse” or ”child abuse or neglect” means an act or omission in one of the following categories that threatens the health or welfare of a child:

  • Any case in which, in the presence of a child, or on the premises where a child is found or resides, a controlled substance, as defined in § 18-18-102(5), is manufactured or attempted to be manufactured

  • Any case in which a child tests positive at birth for either a Schedule I controlled substance, including opiates, opiate derivatives, hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants that have no legitimate medical use [as defined in § 18-18-203], or a Schedule II controlled substance, including any potentially addictive substance that is used or manufactured contrary to its current accepted medical use [as defined in § 18-18-204], unless the child tests positive for a Schedule II controlled substance as a result of the mother’s lawful intake of such substance as prescribed.

Citation: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann § 18-6-401(1)(c)

Statute Text:

A person commits child abuse if, in the presence of a child, or on the premises where a child is found or resides, or in a vehicle containing a child, the person knowingly engages in the manufacture or attempted manufacture of a controlled substance, as defined by § 18-18-102(5), or knowingly possesses ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, with the intent to use the product as an immediate precursor in the manufacture of a controlled substance. It shall be no defense to the crime of child abuse that the defendant did not know that a child was present, a child could be found, a child resided on the premises, or a vehicle contained a child.

A parent or lawful guardian of a child or a person having the care or custody of a child who knowingly allows the child to be present or reside at a premises or to be in a vehicle where the parent, guardian, or person having care or custody of the child knows or reasonably should know that another person is engaged in the manufacture or attempted manufacture of methamphetamine commits child abuse.

A parent or lawful guardian of a child or a person having the care or custody of a child who knowingly allows the child to be present or reside at a premises or to be in a vehicle where the parent, guardian, or person having care or custody of the child knows or reasonably should know that another person possesses ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, with the intent to use the product as an immediate precursor in the manufacture of methamphetamine commits child abuse.

Citation: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-3-401(3)(b)-(c) (LexisNexis through 12-1-08)

Statute Text:

A newborn child who is not in a hospital setting shall not be taken into temporary protective custody for a period of longer than 24 hours without an order of the court. The court orders shall not be required in the following circumstances:

  • When a newborn child is identified by a physician, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or physician’s assistant engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of patients as being affected by substance abuse or demonstrating withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure

  • When the newborn child is subject to an environment exposing the newborn child to a laboratory for manufacturing controlled substances.


Other Articles of Interest:

If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
Colorado Criminal Law Blog:  www.Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com
Main:  303.627.7777
Cell:  720.220.2277
24/7 Pager:  303.543.4433
FAX (Toll Free):  1.877.533.6276
Always investigate a lawyer's qualifications and experience before making a
decision to retain that lawyer or, for that matter, any professional ...in any field.