The laws of Colorado's juvenile criminal justice system are confusing. We may hear of different situations where similar juvenile cases are handled differently. For example, we've seen cases where 4 teenagers are sent to trial for a variety of crimes ranging from Burglary to Assault in Denver, Adams, or Jefferson County. Two of the young men may be tried as adults, and two may be tried as juveniles. What is the difference? Is there a discrepancy in the system? What were the deciding factors between the defendants? Was it chance, race, age, or criminal history? At O'Malley and Sawyer, we take the lessons we've learned after 23 years of criminal defense and put it to work for your child's advantage. These experiences make the difference between a permanent or temporary criminal record; sex offender registration for your teenager or not; and a Department of Youth Corrections sentence or in-home detention.
Our experience is often the difference between a permanent or temporary criminal records for your children. Their future is at stake.
Your child's future is at stake. Now is the time to invest in protecting it.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Representing Juveniles Charged with Crimes
If your child has been arrested and charged due to involvement in a juvenile crime in Denver County, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. We have been representing teens and kids in juvenile cases for over 25 years, and we know how the juvenile system works. Adult and Juvenile cases are defended differently in our criminal justice system under their own procedure rules. Certain charges can bring an adult sentence, while others are handled in juvenile court.
Adjudication vs. Conviction of Juveniles
Crimes committed by juveniles in the state of Colorado are classified less harshly than if an adult had committed the offense. For example, if a juvenile commits a crime, they are prosecuted as delinquents in a juvenile court. The child will stand before a juvenile judge or magistrate. If the teenager or child receives a guilty verdict, they will not be convicted of the crime as an adult would be – instead, they receive juvenile adjudication. The juvenile justice system is focused on rehabilitation, while the adult system is premised on punishment. In most cases, children under the age of 18 are adjudicated rather than convicted, unless there is a Direct File in District Court for them to be tried as an adult in Colorado. This only occurs in very serious life-threatening injury, violent, and sex crime cases.
What is Direct Filing in Juvenile Courts?
When a child is tried as an adult, it is called Direct File. Until 2012, Direct Filing was much more common. A legislative bill signed by the governor now protects the rights of children much better than in previous years. Prosecutors can no longer Direct File on most juveniles until they are at least 16 years old, and can only be done in very specific circumstances, such as when a child has been accused of a violent, kidnapping, sexual, or homicide case. With the new legislation in place, juveniles can now appeal the prosecutor's decision to Direct File. If a child is convicted as an adult after a Direct Filing, the child could be transferred to the Department of Corrections once they turn 18 in order to serve an adult sentence. Direct File is reserved for cases where the District Attorney feels a juvenile's crime deserves to be punished more harshly.
Our Relationship with Counselors and Treatment Providers
Unfortunately, most juvenile cases require the assistance of a drug, sex offender, or mental health counselor. In Adams County, there are strict rules for Juvenile sex offenders. These restrictions dictate where an offender can:
- Who They Contact
- How They Think
Because only certain Juvenile SOMB providers are approved in the State of Colorado, please do not search for one on your own. Only the counselors approved by the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (visit their website for more specific information) are allowed to treat and evaluate children and teens. The attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer work with (SOMB) providers who are truly interested in teens and their welfare. They work alongside each person involved in the case (attorneys, teens, parents, and guardians). Together, we come up with a plan to reduce the chance that your child's name is registered along with other sex offenders in the state.
Don't put your child's future at risk. Give us a call.
Juvenile Detention Facilities We Visit in Colorado
There are many juvenile detention centers across Colorado, which are run by local agencies and the Department of Human Services. The juvenile criminal defense attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer will visit kids facing criminal charges in the following facilities:
View the List of Facilities
- Denier Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Zeb Pike Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Foote Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Spring Creek Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Adams Youth Services Center
- Gilliam Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Pueblo Youth Services Center
- Grand Mesa Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Marler Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Mountview Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Platte Valley Youth Services Center Detention Facility
- Ridge View Youth Services Center Detention Facility
Teens are Under Scrutiny for Normal Behavior
Teenagers are often charged with crimes for natural behavior
In many sex crime cases, teenagers are simply exploring their sexuality and trying to examine all the emotions and feelings which come with this stage of life. They are not looking to prey on or expose any child sexually. It is simply a time of self-exploration between two teenagers. Unfortunately, the District Attorneys in Arapahoe County have a hard time telling the difference between exploration and predatory behavior. Teens today are under scrutiny for normal behavior. Working with both an experienced attorney and counselor aids the truth process and helps to reveal false accusations against your teen. We gather and present valuable information which is necessary for the case in order to acquit your child of all criminal charges. Don't try and handle a juvenile sex crime case on your own. We know how the government works, and we know the best procedures and tactics to use in court. Your child's future is in the balance – be sure to protect it by working with an experienced juvenile attorney.
Everyone Makes Mistakes! Don't Let One Mistake Ruin a Life
A mistake shouldn't define a child's future and opportunities
It is imperative to contact our skilled attorneys immediately upon your child's arrest in Douglas County. Children make mistakes. Bad things happen to good people.We have defended teens in many types of cases, and understand the complex legal system. Our justice system can be forgiving with non-sex crimes, but you must know how to beat the government. The criminal defense lawyers at our law office are aggressive in their defense work to save your child's future. Their work always proves indispensable in working for you and your family.
Our Goal as Juvenile Criminal Lawyers: Seal Records for a Clear Future
We work hard to get the best possible outcome in children's cases
At O'Malley and Sawyer, we believe your child's best defense is made by working closely with the parents. With the involvement of parents and their teenagers, we can gather evidence for an effective defense to charges like:
- Drug Charges
- Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)
- Sex Crimes
- Juvenile Sexual Assault on a Child
- Sexting Crimes
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Damage to Property
- Any Other Crime
We work with parents and children to get the best possible outcome in criminal cases in Colorado.
Why Juvenile Court is Unique
Juvenile court is much less harsh than District Court. As experienced juvenile defense attorneys, we present our young client's unique situation to the magistrate or judge, and they often hear and take it into consideration. False accusations or exaggerated charges are common, and we are often able to advocate on your child's behalf and get their case dismissed, a deferred prosecution, or a diversion program. We work with the Deputy District Attorney to help them understand your child's unique situation and why they deserve fair treatment and a chance at a better future. We focus on your child's future as a productive member of society.