Denver Juvenile Crime Lawyer
Protect the Future. Contact the Law Office of Kevin Cahill
Sometimes good kids make bad decisions due to their own immaturity, peer pressure or because they simply are lashing out because of other problems. The age of majority in Colorado is 18, and children over the age of 10 who commit a crime will be handled through the juvenile justice system.
The only exception is that children over the age of 16 could face adult charges depending on the severity of the crime they are charged with. Regardless of their exact age, any child facing criminal charges deserves the professional representation of a Denver juvenile crime lawyer.
In Colorado, juvenile justice has improved dramatically over the years but young people can still face very serious charges including:
- Assault or assault and battery
- Attempted murder, manslaughter, or murder
- Criminal or malicious mischief
- DUI, MIP, or MIC
- Domestic violence or assault
- Drug crimes such as possession and distribution
- Sex crimes like rape
- Theft crimes, shoplifting, auto theft, and burglary
- Weapon charges
Keep in mind, some of these crimes will have a permanent impact on your child. DUI crimes could result in their being unable to obtain a driver’s license until they are 21, sex crimes could result in life-long registration as a sex offender and violent crimes like murder could mean they are facing a life sentence in custody. Colorado has made great strides with their juvenile offender programs but they are not perfect.
Understanding the Juvenile Process
The goal of the juvenile justice system in Colorado is rehabilitating the minor whenever possible. The process that takes place when a child is arrested and charged with a crime typically follows a specific pattern that works something like this:
- Temporary custody – a child who has violated the law including county, municipal, state or federal may be taken into custody by law enforcement.
- Diversion programs – rather than place a child in custody, the court may order the juvenile to attend a diversion program. This must be done prior to the filing of a delinquency petition.
- Advisement hearings – the parents and juvenile will be advised of all rights including the right to an attorney and a jury trial.
- Preliminary hearing – in the event the crimes the juvenile is accused of is either a Class 1 misdemeanor or a felony, this hearing must be requested within 10 days to determine probable cause.
- Adjudicatory trial – whether you have elected a bench or jury trial they must find guilt of delinquency beyond a reasonable doubt and if found guilty there may be an immediate sentence passed down.
- Sentencing – during the sentencing phase the interests of the child and the community will be reviewed. This portion may include character witnesses, reports from teachers and counselors, etc. There is a potential for commitment to a Department of Youth Corrections, probation or an order to remove the child from the parental home.
- Appeal – any delinquency finding must be appealed within 15 days of the order.
- Expungement – a juvenile criminal defense attorney can help you determine if a juvenile record can be sealed and should be followed up on immediately. Not all crimes will be eligible for expungement.
Any parent who has been notified their child has been arrested and is facing charges should immediately contact a Denver juvenile criminal defense attorney. Your child’s freedom and their future is on the line. The sooner you get a juvenile crime attorney involved, the more likely the situation is to have a positive outcome.
Parents Accountability & Responsibility
In Colorado, the law allows the courts to hold the parents accountable for the actions of their children. Parents may be sued civilly for injuries and damages caused by their child and be ordered to pay restitution.
In addition, parents may be required to:
- Participate in community service with the offender
- Attend a parental responsivity class
- Work with victims to help rehabilitate the juvenile
- You could face the temporary loss of custody of your juvenile offender
- You could be liable for the cost of your child’s care while they are in custody
Clearing Your Minor’s Record: Record Expungement
When a child is charged with a crime and has been found guilty, their records are not automatically sealed when they turn 18. There are specific forms and a process that must be followed. Felony convictions are typically not eligible for expungement but many juvenile crimes are. Working with a juvenile criminal defense attorney is imperative; your child’s future is on the line.
A juvenile record could prevent your child from obtaining student loans, limit their ability to find employment and cause problems finding housing. Mistakes happen and your child should not have to spend the rest of their lives dealing with the repercussions of something that happened when they were too immature to realize the long-term consequences of their actions.
Contact Kevin Cahill, Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyer in Denver
Kevin Cahill is a long-time resident of Denver and has successfully defended numerous juveniles facing local, state and federal criminal charges. Additionally, he can help you file the necessary documents to have your child’s record sealed so they can get on with their lives and keep their past where it belongs—in the past. One mistake should not impact your child’s future.
Whether your child has just been charged with a crime or you need help sealing a juvenile record, contact Denver criminal defense lawyer Kevin Cahill today at (720) 548-2990 today. Remember, we charge nothing for an initial consultation and we can help preserve your child’s rights and their future.