In Colorado, Adams, Arapahoe and Denver County differentiate between Juvenile Crimes (kids) and adult crimes. The idea is to rehabilitate juveniles while they are still young and to give kids a second chance. Juveniles face adjudications for crimes like Theft, C.R.S. 18-4-401 and Burglary, C.R.S. 18-4-402, while adults face convictions for the identical conduct. There are important differences – most notably is the permanent criminal record if you are convicted of a crime.
I like the idea that kids are given a second chance for juvenile crimes, and think that idea should be spread automatically to adults who do not have crimes of violence, and who are facing their first offense in Doulgas, Jefferson or Weld County. I am not in favor of a system that gives everyone a “free” crime, but think before we ruin an adult’s life we should give them a second chance.
There is nothing magical about a person turning 18 and then being an adult who should be prosecuted and face a permanent criminal conviction on their record in Larimer or Grand County. Why not let adults have a chance to work through their offense and get a clean record if successful, like juveniles? A deferred judgment and sentence is a good way to do this, but the decision whether to grant one is always left up to the District Attorney, who does not want to appear soft on crime.
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 future.