Even if you think your child may never participate in juvenile crimes, such occurrences can happen. The reasons behind these crimes vary from boredom to peer pressure to testing the limits of what they can and can’t get away with.
Common Juvenile Crimes
If you are the parent of a juvenile in Colorado, you may not even realize that a number of the most common juvenile crimes count as crimes, because some simply view them as common adolescent behavior. In the state of Colorado, here are a few of the most common juvenile crimes:
- Curfew violations
- Alcohol offenses
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of marijuana
- Criminal mischief
- Reckless endangerment
Types of Juveniles
According to Colorado juvenile law, two types of offenses can be committed by a juvenile. The juvenile court system prosecutes juveniles who:
- Commit acts of delinquency – Acts that would be considered criminal if committed by an adult, e.g., burglary or trespassing.
- Commit status offenses – Acts that are only illegal because they were committed by a minor, e.g., truancy or violating curfew.
Consequences for Juvenile Crimes
One of two things may happen when a child is picked up as a delinquent or a status offender. The police may issue a summons to appear in court and release the juvenile back to the parents or guardians. Or, the juvenile may be detained in a juvenile detention center, and brought before a juvenile court magistrate or judge for a detention hearing.
Minor juvenile offenses may be prosecuted at the municipal level in any one of the many municipal courts around the state. More serious offenses will likely be prosecuted at the state level in Denver juvenile court or one of the County District Courts, based on the location of the alleged offense. Regardless of where you are being prosecuted, a juvenile has the same types of Constitutional rights, including the right to plead not guilty, the right to be presumed innocent, and the right to a trial. If a juvenile is found guilty at a trial, the court will proceed to a sentence, which is where the judge or magistrate is supposed to decide what will be best to rehabilitate the young person. Sentencing options include a period of supervised or unsupervised probation, placement out of the home, or commitment to the Division of Youth Services. If property damage or other monetary damage is caused, the sentence could also include restitution, which would be a requirement to pay money for whatever damages were caused by the act.
All municipal juvenile offenses will be expunged once the case is closed, regardless of the outcome of the proceeding, including where the juvenile goes to trial and is found guilty. Most state-level juvenile offenses can also be expunged, depending on the type of offense and whether the juvenile has any prior offenses.
Hiring a Lawyer
If your child has been charged with a crime in municipal court, Denver juvenile court, or any other District Court in Colorado, you need to hire a juvenile criminal lawyer. The lawyers at the Juba Law Office specialize in representing juveniles charged with all types of crimes, and we can work on securing the best outcome for your child. We offer holistic juvenile representation, including negotiating the best outcomes, defending the charges at trial, and working to expunge your juvenile record.
Get in touch with our team at Juba Law Office for the best juvenile defense in the state.