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Can a Juvenile be Convicted of a Crime?

In some cases, but not all, juveniles in Colorado who have violated the law can be convicted of a crime. Only when the juvenile is at least 16 years old, can the District Attorney file adult charges, where a conviction may result. This filing process is called a Direct File or Direct Filing. Recently, the Colorado governor signed a law into place which raised the age limit from 14 to 16 years old, when the DA may do a Direct File on a juvenile. The new law allows DAs to charge young kids as adults in murder, violent sex crimes, kidnapping and assaults which are violent. Juveniles charged via the Direct File can appeal to a district judge, who gets to say whether the child should be tried as an adult.

Children under 16 who are charged with crimes like Sexual Assault on a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-405, in Jefferson County and Douglas County, will be charged in juvenile court, where they can be adjudicated a juvenile delinquent. These kids will still need to aggressively defend themselves as if they were charged criminally. A sex offender juvenile adjudication still carries the same requirements of an adult conviction, such as sex offender treatment, probation, possible incarceration and Sex Offender Registration. In some cases, serious adjudication records cannot be expunged, so charges against children need to be treated seriously.

An adjudication is less serious than an adult conviction, and the government's options in sentencing are less severe. Under the new law in Colorado, only the most serious offenses are subject to a Direct File. Prosecutors are not happy, but kids now have a greater likelihood of staying in juvenile court when they commit more serious crimes.

If police contact your child, be smart, exercise your child's right to remain silent, and call our experienced juvenile lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your child's future.

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Case Results:

  • Sexual Assault and Rape charges related to divorce. Acquittal from jury trial. Weld County, Greeley, Colorado.
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Possession of Child Pornography. Acquittal from jury trial. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Arson of Nursing Home. Dismissed by Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Felony Drug Distribution. Acquittal from jury trial. Boulder County, Boulder, Colorado.
  • Rape and Sexual Assault charges involving divorce and child custody. Acquittal from jury trial. Douglas County, Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Burglary and Felony Theft. Dismissed by District Attorney. Arapahoe County, Englewood, Colorado.
  • Theft of Drugs by Nurse. Dismissed by District Attorney. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust. Acquittal from Jury Trial. Adams County, Brighton, Colorado.
  • Domestic Violence. Dismissed by District Attorney. Douglas County, Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Violation of Restraining Order. Dismissed by District Attorney. Douglas County, Castle Rock.

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