Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Usually, we see the Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor charge when a parent or another adult gives alcohol to teens. While it is legal for a parent or guardian to give their own child permission to consume alcohol under their supervision, if the teen’s friends partake as well, it becomes an illegal activity – one which can result in felony charges for the adult.

What is the Definition of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor?

Colorado law defines C.R.S 18-6-701 – Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor – as:

Any person who induces, aids, or encourages a child to violate any federal or state law, municipal or county ordinance, or court order commits contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Under this statute, ‘child’ is any person under the age of eighteen (18). In Greeley, Evans, and Erie, it is illegal for a teenager to possess alcohol, so if an adult provides that alcohol, they are encouraging the child to violate the alcohol possession law. It is the same situation if the adult shares marijuana with a teen or helps a kid shoplift. In each case, the adult can be charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

What is the Sentence for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor?

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor is charged as a class 4 felony in Weld, Morgan and Logan County. This means a person charged with this crime will face 2 to 6 years in prison, plus 3 years mandatory parole. Many times, probation is an option which an experienced criminal defense attorney can argue for, especially if it is a first time offense. While a probation sentence is far more desirable than a sentence to the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC), the permanent felony conviction could still affect a person’s future. Prospective employers and landlords have access to this information when they run background checks, and many times will eliminate a person as a candidate before allowing any explanation. Also, according to the statute, the court is required to notify the Colorado Department of Education if the convicted person is a school employee.

Possible Defense for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

There is an affirmative defense if the adult reasonably believed the child was over 18 years old. This defense does not apply to every situation, it is just one of the tools the experienced attorneys from the O’Malley Law Office have in their tool box. From the start, the best way for a person to defend themselves is to exercise their right to remain silent. Our criminal defense lawyers have many more options to get a case dismissed or a better plea bargain if no statements were made to the police or other law enforcement agencies. We know limitations that district attorneys have to work within, and will exploit that knowledge to benefit our client.


Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the experienced defense attorneys at the O’Malley Law Office.

Call 970-616-6009 or fill out the Get Help Now form to meet with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Weld County and the Greeley area for a free consultation. 

Together, we can protect your future.

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