As parents, when our children get in trouble, we naturally want to hold them accountable. Unfortunately, in the context of juvenile criminal law, how you as a parent hold them accountable is not how the justice system would. There are permanent, long term consequences to juvenile adjudications. In many cases, Colorado law has made it difficult for people with juvenile records to expunge those offenses after learning their life-lesson.
Expungement and Sealing of Juvenile Criminal Records
For most adjudications, juveniles have to wait 1-year after the successful completion of probation to expunge or seal their record. For juveniles with adjudications for sexual offenses, expungement is only an option if the juvenile received a deferred adjudication. The waiting period increases for repeat and mandatory juvenile offenders. Because of the lasting effects of a juvenile adjudication, parents should consult with an experienced juvenile criminal law attorney regarding the specific charges and situation with your child. Read more on the Colorado Juvenile Criminal System.
Parents – Never Give Your Consent for a Child Police Interview
Normally, we want our children to confess to us when they have done something wrong and to be truthful. While that is obviously appropriate parenting, having your child confess to law enforcement is usually not a good idea, particularly if they are un-represented. In order for law enforcement to speak to your child, they need parental consent. As parents, you have to exercise your child’s right to remain silent, just as you would for yourself. The reason for this is simple – – – it may be hard for the district attorney to prove a case against your child based on the facts and investigation. But, it certainly gets much easier when there is a video-taped interview or confession of your child. Kids should never speak to police about a potential crime. Confessions grossly diminish your bargaining power because the DA knows even if the juvenile does not plead, they are virtually assured a conviction if there is an interview or confession.
Your Decision Today = Your Child’s Future
In Douglas, Arapahoe and Denver County, and across the state, if your child is charged with an offense or being investigated for an offense, an attorney can help you navigate the juvenile justice system, and also explore how to avoid long term consequences for your child. So, if you’re your child is contacted by police, take it seriously as it can affect your son or daughter’s life for years to come. We have spent nearly forty years defending young people against juvenile charges in Jefferson, Adams and Boulder County, and we can help your child. Be smart, remain silent, and be sure you consult with an experienced attorney by contacting us today at (303) 731-0719. Together we can protect your child’s future.