Don’t Let a Colorado Juvenile Crime

 Ruin Your Child’s Future

Kids and teens do a lot of stupid things. Parents know this all too well. They also know that sometimes kids must make a mistake to learn from it and not repeat it.

What happens when that “mistake” involves committing an illegal act?

No parent wants to receive a call that their son or daughter is being held in jail. Or to have the police bring them home after an unfortunate run-in with the law.

Unfortunately, sometimes these things happen. Parents tend to react in one of two ways. They either believe their child should face punishment, so they understand consequences and accountability. Or they become terrified that this will ruin their child’s life and future and do not know what they can do to stop it.

Regardless of which camp you fall in, you must understand two things:

  1. Even though most juveniles will not face adult criminal action, the consequences of a juvenile offense can be incredibly severe. In some cases, it pushes kids towards a life of crime rather than helping to lead them out of it.
  2. A skilled criminal defense attorney with a track record of success in juvenile cases can help you understand what you are up against and fight aggressively for your child’s rights and future.

Denver juvenile crimes lawyer Jacob Martinez has worked on countless juvenile cases and understands how this separate area of criminal justice works in Colorado. Over the course of his career, he has been able to use his in-depth understanding of juvenile criminal law to help kids, and teens get the best possible outcome in their cases and ensure that a youthful indiscretion does not derail their futures.

If you decide to work with Mr. Martinez, he will do everything in his power to prevent your child from receiving a juvenile detention sentence. He may even be able to help them avoid juvenile court altogether.

A Denver Criminal Lawyer Who Understands the Colorado Juvenile Justice System

The most common question parents ask when meeting with Mr. Martinez is, what will happen? While he cannot promise any particular outcome, he always likes to provide his clients with an overview of the process, so they can prepare themselves.

At the most basic level, here is how the Colorado Juvenile Justice System works:

The Arrest Process

  • A child is taken into custody.
  • Parents or guardians will be notified.
  • The child will be released to a parent or guardian OR held if they are being accused of a crime involving violence or a weapon (these types of accusations also require mandatory screening).
  • If released to their parent or guardian, the child will either be arrested or not. If they are arrested, you can skip down to the Case Filing section. If they are not arrested, this also requires mandatory screening.

The Screening Process

Whether your child is not arrested or is accused of a violent or weapons-related crime, things get more complicated. They will be screened by a screening team that uses legally defined detention criteria, and there are six potential outcomes:

  1. They will be released with services.
  2. They will be released to their parent or guardian.
  3. They will be sent to a shelter.
  4. They will be sent to a staff-secure facility.
  5. They will be sent to a temporary holding facility.
  6. They will be sent to detention.

Juveniles in the first two categories can skip down to case filing. Those in the latter four categories have more pretrial requirements.

The Pretrial Process

Anyone in one of the above four categories must attend a detention and shelter hearing. This has four potential outcomes.

  • They will be released to their parent or guardian.
  • They will be released with services.
  • They will be released on bail.
  • They will remain in detention, a shelter, or a staff-secure facility.

The Case Filing Process

At this point, everyone comes back together as the district attorney conducts a preliminary investigation. There are four potential outcomes to this investigation.

  • Informal Adjustment
  • Diversion
  • Filing of Petition
  • Direct Filing in District Court

For those in the first two categories, that’s the end. They go through adjustment or diversion and return to their lives. Those in the other two categories move on to adjudication.

The Adjudication Process

If there is a direct filing in district court, that means the individual in question will receive a sentence as either an adult or youthful offender. Case closed.

Filing a petition leads to what most people consider a court case. Though there are branches that one can take off this path, the general course of adjudication involves:

  • Advisement
  • Preliminary Hearing
  • Entry of Plea
  • Plea of Not Guilty
  • Adjudicatory Trial (must be within 60 days)
  • Finding (guilty or not guilty)

Obviously, if the juvenile is found not guilty, that’s the end. If they are found guilty, they either go to adjudication or get deferred adjudication. The latter, in effect, ends the case, but adjudication leads to…

The Pre-Sentence and Sentencing Process

  • Pre-sentence Investigation
  • Sentencing Hearing (must be within 45 days of Adjudicatory Trial)

The judge has all kinds of options at his or her disposal at the sentencing hearing, including detention, county jail, commitment to DHS, probation, placement with a suitable person, social service or hospital, fines, restitution, and more. If the juvenile is committed somewhere, they then move on to…

The Post-Sentence and Transition Process

Some juveniles go straight to juvenile parole after they are discharged from their commitment. Others must first go through community referral, review, and placement. After they complete their parole, they will be discharged and return to their regular lives.

Complicated, right? That is why having a knowledgeable Denver lawyer by your side is so important. Jacob Martinez not only works to demystify the process but also deal with the nuts and bolts, so you can handle the important job of being there for your son or daughter.

Types of Acts That Denver Defines as Juvenile Crimes

What exactly is a juvenile crime? Quite simply, it is a criminal offense committed by someone under the age of 18. This can include pretty much any type of illegal act, such as:

At the Law Office of Jacob Martinez, we have handled juvenile cases involving all of these charges and more. Do not hesitate to call us if you do not see the offense your son or daughter has been charged with on this list. Tell us what charge they are up against, and we will let you know what we can do to help.

Get in Touch with Jacob Martinez Now about Your Child’s Colorado Juvenile Charge

The stated goal of the Colorado Juvenile Justice System is to rehabilitate offenders rather than punish them, but it always pays to fight hard for leniency.

Jacob Martinez knows how to negotiate with prosecutors in juvenile cases to encourage them to give offenders a second chance. He frequently consults with the court and social service agencies to find rehabilitative solutions that prefer learning and growth, such as counseling, volunteering, and substance abuse programs.

Do not wait to reach out. Mr. Martinez has what it takes to protect your child’s future and help them maintain a clean record, but he will not be able to do anything until you contact him. Set up a free initial consultation today:

Phone: 720-246-6700

Fax: 720-223-5565