Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer
Photo Of Kyle B. Sawyer

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Colorado Juvenile Crimes are Better Than Adult Crimes

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2012 | Juvenile |

Denver Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney

Colorado Juvenile Crimes are a much better classification than adult crimes for your child. Juvenile offenses are taken less seriously than adult crimes from many different perspectives. It is always important to ensure that your child’s criminal case in Jefferson, Denver, Douglas, Arapahoe, Adams, Weld and Larimer County will be prosecuted as a delinquency matter in juvenile court.

Jefferson County Juvenile Adjudication

First, juvenile offenses result in an adjudication, not a criminal conviction. This means that your child won’t be labeled as a criminal, but instead as a juvenile delinquent. Generally, courts say that John Smith committed an offense “which would have been a felony if committed by an adult.” Next, these offenses don’t result in as severe of a penalty, as when committed by an adult. Finally, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation does not publish juvenile arrests and convictions as readily as they do adult offenses. This means that a back ground check is less likely to harm your child after they resolve their case.

Juvenile Charged As Adult in Adams County

Kids under the age of eighteen can still be charged as adults if the offense is one like Sexual Assault on a Child or Murder, through a process called Direct Filing. Direct Filing is where a juvenile who is at least fourteen at the time of the offense, is charged as an adult. While the location of incarceration might be different until the child turns eighteen, the child can still end up on adult prison serving an adult sentence. Direct filing is usually reserved for the most serious offenses and where the government feels the child deserves more punishment than is authorized under traditional Colorado juvenile law.

Juvenile Defense Lawyer – Case Example

I recently worked on a Felony Burglary and Robbery case where a weapon was involved. My most immediate concern was to ensure that my client, who was seventeen, did not get charged as an adult. The direct filing would really hurt him, and he would likely end up in prison. This case had several victims and was receiving special attention due to the severity of the offense. I made many strategic decisions early in the case to increase the likelihood the DA would keep it in juvenile court. I did not care at all about a juvenile adjudication, since the punishment range was very limited. In the end, we received the juvenile adjudication and my client was in the county jail for ninety days. This was much better than the prison sentences expected for codefendants who were over eighteen.

Our experienced juvenile criminal lawyers often work in juvenile court. We can limit the severity of the charge and your child’s punishment. If you or your child is contacted by police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your child’s future.