Thanks for your patience.
Yes, this is a criminal charge in Colorado. However, it is only a misdemeanor, meaning it is a relatively insignificant charge. As your daughter is young and has no criminal history, it is likely that the prosecuting attorney will be lenient with her. While it is impossible to predict an exact outcome, it would seem reasonable to expect a small fine, perhaps a couple hundred dollars, and some minor penalties, such as some community service hours.
It's never a bad idea to hire a criminal defense attorney. However, as I suggested, the penalties here are likely to be fairly light. You might want to go to her initial court appearance and speak with the prosecutor. If he makes an offer that seems reasonable, discuss accepting that offer with your daughter. Conversely, if you are not satisfied with the offer, simply continue the case and check into hiring an attorney to assist.
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