Violation Of A Custody Order From The Court in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 3 – 304 – Violation Of A Custody Order From The Court

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-3-304. Violation of custody order or order relating to parental responsibilities

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2.5) of this section, any person, including a natural or foster parent, who, knowing that he or she has no privilege to do so or heedless in that regard, takes or entices any child under the age of eighteen years from the custody or care of the child’s parents, guardian, or other lawful custodian or person with parental responsibilities with respect to the child commits a class 5 felony.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2.5) of this section, any parent or other person who violates an order of any district or juvenile court of this state, granting the custody of a child or parental responsibilities with respect to a child under the age of eighteen years to any person, agency, or institution, with the intent to deprive the lawful custodian or person with parental responsibilities of the custody or care of a child under the age of eighteen years, commits a class 5 felony.

(2.5) Any person who, in the course of committing the offenses described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, removes a child under the age of eighteen years from this country commits a class 4 felony.

(3) It shall be an affirmative defense either that the offender reasonably believed that his conduct was necessary to preserve the child from danger to his welfare, or that the child, being at the time more than fourteen years old, was taken away at his own instigation without enticement and without purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the child.

(4) Any criminal action charged pursuant to this section may be tried in either the county where the act is committed or in which the court issuing the orders granting custody or allocating parental responsibilities is located, if such court is within this state.

(5) Repealed.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Criminal Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.


Colorado Penalties for Violation Of A Custody Order From The Court

Penalties

The charge of Violation Of A Custody Order From The Court, is categorized as a:

F4, if child removed from the United States, otherwise
F5

Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Violation Of A Custody Order From The Court below. These will be adapted by your Denver Colorado Attorney for your case.

The elements of the crime of violation of custody are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. violated an order of any [district] [juvenile] court of this State which granted custody or parental responsibilities with respect to a child under eighteen years to any person, agency, or institution, 4. with the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child or person with parental responsibilities of the care of the child, 5. and the child was then under the age of eighteen. [and 6. knowingly removed the child from the United States] 7. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number .] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of violation of custody. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of violation of custody. NOTES ON USE See chapter on affirmative defenses to specific offenses. See ?18-1-503.5, C.R.S. with respect to the criminality of the conduct, regarding the age of the child or the defendant’s belief thereof. See ?18-3-304(4), C.R.S. re venue. People v. Sorrendino, 37 P.3d 501 (Colo. App. 2001) (temporary custodial orders are actionable under ? 18-3- 304(2), C.R.S.) People v. Metcalf, 926 P.2d 133 (Colo. App. 1996)(knowingly element does not apply to the custody order) Delete inapplicable bracketed material.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Violation Of A Custody Order From The Court.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca