El Paso County Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyers
If your child has been charged with a juvenile crime in El Paso County, Colorado, they need a skilled attorney to help them navigate the juvenile criminal justice process and advocate for their best interests. With an experienced attorney from The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. fighting for your child, they stand a far better chance of having their charge dismissed or sentence reduced.
The Juvenile court system in Colorado focuses on rehabilitation and restoration rather than solely punishment. There are often many factors in a child’s life that have led to their offending, and having an attorney articulate these sympathetically to the court can make a drastic difference to the outcome of their case.
Contact one of our leading El Paso County criminal defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. today at (719) 475-2555 so we help get your child’s life back on track.
Juveniles accused of crimes are treated differently than adults in Colorado, accounting for their developing cognitive skills and potential to learn from mistakes made in their youth. Three main ways juveniles are treated differently than adults in the criminal justice system include:
Options During Arrest
While adults remain in jail following arrest unless they are released on bail, juveniles are often released to their parents pending their trial, with or without a bond. If the child is suspected of committing a violent or weapons-related crime, they may be held in a juvenile-specific detention facility or shelter.
Election Between Courts
Colorado was one of the first states to create a separate court for under-18 offenders, known as the Colorado Juvenile Court. Following an arrest, the district attorney decides whether to file charges in the juvenile court or the district court. The district court is reserved for more serious offenses, as there the child will be treated as an adult offender.
Some minor offenses that display a temporary lapse of judgment, as opposed to a repeated pattern of misbehavior, may be handled informally between the district attorney and the child’s family or attorney.
When a juvenile is found guilty, the court conducts a pre-sentence investigation assessing the stability of the juvenile’s home life, the likelihood of their rehabilitation, and their potential for reoffending. The defendant, or their family, may be allowed to present evidence on these points.
Juveniles also have much broader options available to them in the sentencing process. Penalties may include placement in a reform program, time in the county jail or a juvenile detention facility, placement in a mental health facility if required, probation, community service, fines, or therapy programs.
The juvenile court generally handles cases where the defendant is between 10 and 17 years old, and where the charge is for misdemeanors (less serious crimes than felonies) or juvenile-specific issues.
Juvenile courts follow the Colorado Children’s Code, with specific rules of procedure allowing for greater flexibility to deal with the child’s particular circumstances. An attorney may represent the child at all phases of the case.
The language used in juvenile court differs from the traditional language used in courtrooms, although the process is largely the same. For example, rather than a “trial,” a juvenile has an “adjudication” to determine whether they are guilty. Rather than a verdict or judgment, their case results in a “disposition.”
Restoration, as opposed to punishment, is the main focus of juvenile court, focusing on giving the child the support or repercussion they need to prevent them from a pattern of reoffending in their adulthood.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we understand the stresses on families and the child following a juvenile crime charge. We are here to ensure your child is fully informed and supported at each stage of the process, and to passionately advocate for their best interests.
Founding attorney Timothy Bussey has over 25 years of experience, and as a former prosecutor, knows the methods used by the prosecution and how to counter them.
Don’t leave your child’s future up to chance. Call our team today at (719) 475-2555 so we can get started defending your child.