Juvenile criminal cases are usually charged in the juvenile court of each county. While technically under the jurisdiction of the District Court, a magistrate often manages the case on behalf of a judge. These types of cases involve kids charged with crimes while they are under the age of eighteen. Except in rare cases called a “direct filing”, the cases remain in the child system provided the person charged was under eighteen at the time of the offense.
Juvenile Offenses Like Sexual Assault or Sexting
Sexual offenses, like Sexual Assault on a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-405, are the most serious recurring juvenile case we handle. These boys and girls have committed offenses which would be a felony or misdemeanor if committed by an adult. In some felony sex cases, children are not permitted to seal / expunge their record. When this occurs, the child’s record is available for people to see, forever. Fortunately, many of the sex cases involving kids / children, will permit eventual discontinuance of sex offender registration and expungement. If adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for a sexual offense, the juvenile will be required to participate in sex offender probation and SOMB treatment.
Juvenile Assaults and Sentencing
We also see cases involving Assaults, C.R.S. 18-3-204, which result from fighting. Provided there are no weapons or firearms involved, these cases can be resolved with probation and no need to go to detention. If a gun or firearm is involved, the child could be sentenced to detention. In really serious cases, the child can be sentenced to the Department of Youth Corrections, a branch of the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Some minor cases like speeding, shoplifting or disorderly conduct can be charged in a municipal or city court. In these instances, we don’t see much difference in the way a child is processed through the system vs. adults committing the same offense. Parents will always need to be present for court appearances.
Criminal Records for Children are to be Avoided
The most important thing for a young person to consider is whether they will have a criminal history at the end of their sentence. We are careful to make every effort to avoid a permanent criminal record for the kids we work with. We know that a criminal record at their young age can affect them for a lifetime.
If your child has been charged with a crime, you need our experienced lawyers at work for them. If police contact your child, don’t give permission for them to speak with an officer or detective. Be smart, exercise your child’s right to remain silent, and call our attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect their future.