Colorado Springs Juvenile Defense Lawyer Helping to Protect Your Child’s Future
When a child under 18 years of age commits a delinquent act in Colorado, they are most often referred to the juvenile court system. In certain cases of very serious or violent crimes, juveniles may be tried as adults. Even if the offender has turned 18 before their case is adjudicated, it will be handled by a juvenile court if the offense occurred when the child was under 18. While most adult criminal convictions are punished with fines or incarceration, juvenile courts most often focus on the rehabilitation of juveniles who have committed delinquent acts. Once the juvenile has completed whatever diversion program the judge has most likely ordered, in all but the most serious cases in which the juvenile may have been tried as an adult, it may be possible to expunge the offense from the juvenile’s criminal record permanently. Most people make mistakes in their youth that they learn not to make once they have matured. The experienced juvenile defense lawyers at The Lux Law Firm, PLLC understand that kids need help to overcome those childish mistakes. Call our Colorado Springs office today at 719-496-2177 to get started on the road to recovery from a youthful mistake.
How Will I Know as a Parent if My Child Has Been Arrested?
In Colorado, parents or guardians are notified immediately if a juvenile is arrested. In most cases, the child is then released to parents or guardians as long as they promise to be sure that the child will show up for their next court date. In certain cases involving weapons or violence, the child may be placed on a mandatory hold while the case is investigated. In less serious cases, a minor may be mailed a summons instead of being arrested. The summons will advise the minor (and the parents or guardians) that the juvenile must appear in court at a certain time and place.
What if My Child is Sent to a Juvenile Detention Facility?
One of the first hearings that may be held in certain cases of a juvenile’s delinquent actions is a detention hearing. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to send a minor to juvenile detention. A skilled and knowledgeable juvenile defense attorney, like those at The Lux Law Firm, PLLC will argue for pre-trial release of the juvenile. The judge will consider factors such as whether the home is a stable environment for the child, if the parents or guardians have the ability to supervise the child, and if the child is not likely to run away or not appear for future court dates.
Taking these and other factors into consideration, the judge will either remand the juvenile into custody or release the child to the custody of the parents or guardians. Even if the juvenile is detained at this first hearing, it is possible in later hearings to continue to request that the child be released to parents or guardians.
What Are the Steps in Juvenile Court After a Child Has Been Arrested?
Following the arrest of a minor, the first court appearance is usually the detention hearing, where it is decided if the minor will be sent to juvenile detention or sent home under the supervision of parents or guardians. After that, the prosecution will conduct an investigation of the case, followed by what is called a “return filing hearing” where the prosecutor will inform the court that they plan to either drop the charges completely, refer the child to some form of rehabilitation or diversion program, or file a petition for specific delinquency charges. If prosecutors are pressing charges, the case enters the “pre-trial stage” during which negotiations between the prosecutor and the defense attorney in Colorado Springs will try to agree on a plea bargain. If no agreement can be reached, the next hearing will be an “adjudicatory hearing,” at which the juvenile can enter a plea, or the judge will determine whether the child is delinquent. If so, the next hearing will be a sentencing hearing.
Each step of this process requires a strong defense for the juvenile to protect their future. The experienced juvenile defense attorneys at The Lux Law Firm are ready to stand by your child and help them, and you, through this process with compassion and a sound strategy. Call us today at 719-496-2177.
What Programs Are Juveniles Commonly Sentenced to in Colorado?
Colorado juvenile courts prefer rehabilitation and diversion to punitive judgments against juveniles unless the violations are especially serious or violent. There are many diversion and rehabilitation programs available to the courts for sentencing juveniles who are found to be delinquent, and which program the judge chooses will depend on the specific factors of your child’s case. Some common types of juvenile rehabilitation and diversion programs in Colorado include anger management, therapy, counseling, community service, supervised work service, probation, and juvenile detention, among others. The judge may also include some parental obligations in the sentencing, including things like parent responsibility programs.
Is it Possible to Have a Juvenile Record Expunged in Colorado?
It is possible to have certain juvenile records expunged in Colorado, but this does not happen automatically. The juvenile offender or someone filing on their behalf must request that the record be sealed after a certain waiting period. The waiting period may not apply in cases in which charges were dropped entirely, the juvenile was found not guilty, or the juvenile has completed the court-ordered diversionary or rehabilitation program. Certain offenses are not eligible for expungement, however. To find out if your juvenile record or that of your child is eligible for expungement, contact one of the skilled and knowledgeable juvenile defense lawyers at The Lux Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation today at 719-496-2177.