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Aiding – Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney

Aiding - Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304

Aiding – Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304

A Confusing Colorado Criminal Law For The Parents Of Friends Of Their Children – Aiding – Harboring A Minor

I am often asked by the parents of my clients – if they can “shelter” a troubled child who has run away from a “difficult” home life. I warn these parents that they may be in danger of committing at least one crime – the Colorado crime of harboring.. If they are under a court order as regards child custody – the crime of Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304 may also apply.

Aiding – Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304

Here Are Two Explanations – Analyses Of This Colorado Crime of Harboring A Minor

18-6-601 Aiding or Harboring a Minor

Harboring a minor, 18-6-601, is committed when:

  • a person knowingly shelters a minor without the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian, and fails to release the child to law enforcement upon request,
  • fails to disclose the location of the child upon proper request,
  • obstructs law enforcement from taking the minor into custody,
  • helps the minor avoid being taken into custody

or

  • fails to notify the parent or guardian that the minor is being sheltered within twenty-four hours.

Harboring a minor is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Colorado Misdemeanor Sentencing Chart

Colorado Misdemeanor Sentencing Chart

Analyzing The Elements of Colorado’s HARBORING A MINOR Law – § 18-6-601

The elements of the crime of harboring a minor:

1. That the defendant,

2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,

3. knowingly,

4. provided shelter to a minor

5. without the consent of the parent, guardian, or custodian and

6. the defendant

7. intentionally

8. [failed to release the minor to a law enforcement officer after being requested to do so]

or

[failed to disclose the location of the minor to a law enforcement officer when requested to do so, if the defendant knew the location of the minor and had either taken the minor to that location or had assisted the minor in reaching that location]

or

[obstructed a law enforcement officer from taking the minor into custody]

or

[assisted the minor in avoiding or attempting to avoid the custody of a law enforcement officer]

or

[failed to notify the parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor or a law enforcement officer that the minor was being sheltered within twenty-four hours after shelter had been provided.]

9. [without the affirmative defense in instruction _______ .]

The Most Common Defenses to Harboring A Minor

Two defenses appear right in the law itself in sections ( b ) and ( c )

b) If the shelter provided to the minor is by a licensed child care facility, including a licensed homeless youth shelter, the minor, despite the minor’s status, may reside at such facility or shelter for a period not to exceed two weeks after the time of intake, pursuant to the procedures set forth in article 5.7 of title 26, C.R.S.

(c) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant had custody of the minor or lawful parenting time with the minor pursuant to a court order.

It is an affirmative defense to a violation of a custody order if the defendant reasonably believed his conduct was necessary to preserve the child from danger to his or her welfare.

At trial – where this defense is asserted – the defendant introduces evidence to show that the defendant was concerned for the harbored child(ren’s) safety.

Another Common Charge In This Context (Harboring) Is The Charge of Violation of a Custody Order Under Section 18-3-304

Here is The Colorado Crime of Violation of A Custody Order 18-3-304

§ 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.

Aiding – Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about Aiding – Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm Today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …Aiding – Harboring A Minor Child 18-6-601 and Violation of Custody Orders 18-3-304.


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___________________________
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.
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