Colorado Springs Juvenile Drug Crime Attorneys
If your child has been arrested for a juvenile drug offense in Colorado, you're likely worried about their prospects at a successful future. Your biggest fear is that your child will feel the impact of their criminal case even throughout adulthood, and that they will lose out on important opportunities in education and consequently be at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to career development. However, such a scenario is far from inevitable.
Children sometimes make terrible mistakes, whether out of the misguided desire to rebel or due to bad influence, but it doesn't mean they should have to pay for it for the rest of their lives. The compassionate Colorado Springs juvenile crime defense lawyers at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. understand this completely. That is why we will fight hard to get your child's slate wiped clean. For more information, call us today at at (719) 475-2555.
Thousands of minors are arrested for drug crimes every year in Colorado and throughout the nation. In the most recent year for which statistics are available an estimated 81,320 juveniles in the U.S. were arrested for drug abuse violations, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ). The top three drug offenses with which juveniles in Colorado are charged are:
- Possession of marijuana
- Sale of a controlled substance
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
Like most state and federal offenses of which minors are accused, juvenile drug crimes usually fall under the jurisdiction of the Colorado juvenile court system. There are some exceptions, however. Certain juvenile drug-related crimes are under the jurisdiction of the county courts, including:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Possession by a minor of drug paraphernalia
- Possession by a minor of marijuana or alcohol
- Sale or advertisement of drug paraphernalia
Minors convicted of drug crimes can face heavy penalties. Depending on the circumstances, these may include:
- Jail time
- Juvenile detention center placement
- Enrollment in therapy and/or rehabilitation programs
In addition to the above penalties, use, possession, or sale of a controlled substance or drug may be grounds to suspend or expel a minor from public school, regardless of whether the violation occurred on school grounds. For some drug-related offenses, juveniles could also have their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked.
Juvenile diversion programs are designed to divert minors from involvement in the juvenile justice system. They are a way for the state to avoid formal processing of juveniles, which puts a strain on the juvenile justice system’s resources and increases the chances of further delinquencies through exposure to other delinquent minors. The purposes of juvenile diversion programs include:
- Reducing recidivism
- Avoiding labeling effects
- Reducing system costs
- Reducing unnecessary social control
- Providing services
Colorado counties offering diversion as an alternative to formal court processing have certain criteria for determining eligibility. Factors these programs will consider include:
- Nature of alleged offense
- Age of the minor
- Character and conduct of the minor
- Minor’s behavior in family, school, and group settings
- Any prior decision made regarding diversion for the minor, and the minor’s compliance with the diversion agreement
Juveniles must give knowing and intelligent consent to participate voluntarily in a diversion program. They must also admit responsibility and waive their constitutional rights. In other words, they must admit committing the offense with which they were charged to be eligible for informal processing. In doing so, they are waiving their rights to a trial, to plead not guilty, to present evidence in their defense, and to contest the charges against them.
The juvenile justice system generally operates on the notion that children who commit crimes are not fully aware of the repercussions of their actions and thus should not receive the same considerations as an adult. Accordingly, juvenile drug offenders are usually offered treatment and rehabilitation and other “light” sentencing options in place of criminal penalties. However, this is not always the case.
The prosecution may seek to make an example of your child by pursuing harsh criminal penalties; however, our legal team will not allow it. We will use the full extent of our skills and resources garnered from years and years of courtroom experience to counteract the prosecution's legal arguments and sway the court in your child's favor. Your child deserves better and we will do everything possible to make sure the judge and jury know it.
Does your child already have a criminal record due to a past drug crime conviction? We may be able to pursue an “expungement” of the conviction, or have it sealed and vacated from the record, as if it never happened. If the action is successful, your child will not have to report the crime on applications for school, employment or military enlistment.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., defense attorney Timothy Bussey and his associates have successfully represented juveniles in Colorado who have been arrested for drug crimes. He understands the way the juvenile justice system works, and realizes that conviction for a drug crime can make it especially difficult for a juvenile to continue down a path towards success. If your child has been charged with a drug crime in Colorado, call (719) 475-2555 for information and a consultation on your juvenile's defense case.