Fort Collins, CO asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Colorado

Q: Can I get in trouble for having my child around a family member who is on the sex offender registry

This person is my brother-in-law. Just out of prison for his offense. I don't believe my daughter is in any danger but I am curious if I can get in trouble if he shows up to family dinner while we are there.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rebecca Pescador
Rebecca Pescador
  • Westminster, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: My first thought is that your brother-in-law is possibly taking a huge risk to be around any child if he's just out for his offense. He should review all of the restrictions he is under and make sure he's not putting himself at risk. If he is restricted from being around children, he could potentially land back in jail over even such casual and public contact.

Generally speaking, you are not going to be in any trouble if he shows up where you and your daughter are. Anyone making an accusation against you for "endangering" your daughter would need to be able to show the court that there was some element of danger. If the family is gathered and she is never alone with him, that's probably not going to provide any basis to claim endangerment.

If there are parenting time orders regarding your daughter, that can get to be a bigger question. In a dispute between parents, being around someone who has done time for a sex based offense can become a substantial issue. If there is no evidence that the contact was frequent or presented any opportunity for the child to be alone with the offender, the most common result is for the court to issue an order for the parent to not permit the child to be alone with the offender, or occasionally for the parent to not permit the child to have any contact with the offender. If things escalate, at the extreme other end, it can result in the parent who permitted contact being limited to professionally supervised parenting time only, but that generally requires a lot more than casual public contact at a family gathering.

If an accusation is made against you, be sure you find a family law attorney quickly. These situations can often be resolved pretty quickly and with a minimum of court intervention and a skilled family law attorney can help you try to do so. If it is not resolved quickly, you will need the help for the battle.

Brock Richard Wood agrees with this answer

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