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Colorado Legal Ages Laws

Colorado statutes or laws assign different ages of majority or consent for different activities. The legal age of majority is 21, unless another law permits that action to be taken earlier. Currently, most age related privileges come at the age of 18.

The table below explains some of the legal age laws in Colorado.

Age of Majority The age of majority in Colorado is 21. At 21 years old, a person in Colorado can purchase alcohol or enter a casino.

At 18 years old, a person in Colorado can buy cigarettes, a handgun, or lottery tickets, pawn their things, get married without their parents consent, and vote. However, technically, there’s no law preventing a child under 18 from smoking tobacco, they just can’t buy it. Also, children under 18 can shoot at the gun range and go hunting with a valid license.

An 18 year old is also considered an adult for crimes committed. On the other hand, a child under 10 can’t be tried for criminal or juvenile delinquency offenses.

At 16, a child can marry with parental consent.

Before 15 years old, a child can’t consent to sex so sexual activity with them, even if allegedly consensual, puts you at risk for conviction of statutory rape (sexual assault of a child).

At 12, a child may object to the appointment of a guardian if his or her parent pass on. Also, at 12, an adoption can’t be finalized without the consent of the child.
Eligibility for Emancipation Colorado doesn’t have an emancipation statute. Emancipation generally occurs when a child reaches the age of majority (21), but can occur earlier due to marriage, entering active duty in the military, etc.
Contracts by Minors Children can’t enter into contracts, or at least, be responsible for upholding their end of the contract, until they are 18 years old.
Minor’s Ability to Sue Children can’t sue without a guardian or representative until they reach the age of 18.
Minor’s Consent to Medical Treatment While still a minor, children have some control over what happens to their bodies and health. A child of any age can:

  • Get treatments for STDS without parental consent or notification
  • Be treated for drug addiction without parental consent or notification
  • Consent to the medical treatment for his or her own child
  • Obtain information about birth control without parental consent or notification.
    • Note: Colorado’s “Parental Notification Act” means that a girl can’t get an abortion without notifying her parents (not getting their permission, just notifying), although there’s a judicial bypass to avoid notification.

Despite this, a parent has to consent to medical treatments for a child under 18, unless the child is at least 15 years old, is living away from his or her parents, and is paying his or her own expenses.

Note: State laws change all the time, please verify the state law(s) you are researching by conducting your own legal research.

Colorado Legal Ages: Additional Resources

Get Legal Help to Better Understand Colorado Legal Ages Laws

The legal ages laws help you understand what you can and cannot do when you are a minor. If you're a minor concerned with your rights under Colorado legal ages laws, then you should get legal help from a local family law attorney. An attorney can guide you through the details of the emancipation process or can assist you with other issues that arise under these laws.

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