Did you know juveniles and teens can be charged as adults in more serious criminal cases in Denver, Arapahoe County and across Colorado? This is known as Direct Filing in Colorado. If a child faces accusations of serious offenses like Homicide, Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Assault on a Child, for example, they can face charges like adults instead of receiving an adjudication in juvenile court.
Direct Filing / Direct File for Juveniles in Jefferson County Court: When They Can Be Charged as Adults
According to C.R.S. 19-2-517, there are specific circumstances where juveniles can face charges as adults in Golden, Jefferson County and everywhere else in Colorado. These circumstances include if a juvenile was 16 years of age or older when the offense was committed, if they allegedly committed a class 1 or class 2 felony, if they face accusations of committing certain sexual offenses, a crime of violence, or if they have a prior adjudicated felony offense. Teenagers can also face charges as adults if a Jefferson County District Attorney (DA) appeals the district court's original jurisdiction or they want to transfer a pending juvenile court proceeding to the district court.
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Adams County Juvenile Courts Responsible for Prosecuting Juveniles as Adults
In Brighton, Adams County and everywhere else in Colorado, juvenile courts can prosecute juveniles ten years of age or older who have violated:
1.Any federal or state law, excluding nonfelony state traffic, game and fish, parks and recreation laws or rules, or offenses concerning tobacco products, the possession or consumption of alcohol or marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, or marijuana concentrate;
2.Any county or municipal ordinance except traffic ordinances, the penalty for which could be a jail sentence of more than 10 days;
3.Any lawful order of the court made under title 19. Title 19 is considered the Colorado Children's Code and addresses juvenile offenses.
Juveniles in Denver Can Appeal Court Placement: Transfer Hearings
Fortunately, in Denver, Englewood, Highlands Ranch and across Colorado, juveniles can appeal their court placement. If a juvenile is charged by direct filing, they can file a motion in district court to transfer their case to juvenile court. They must file this motion no later than the time to request a preliminary hearing. In determining whether the juvenile case should move to juvenile court, the court will consider many factors. Some of these factors include whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner, the impact of the offense on the victim, and whether the juvenile used or possessed and threatened the use of a deadly weapon. There are multiple other factors, so it is wise to consult an experienced juvenile lawyer to discuss appealing court placement in more detail.
Transfer Hearings in El Paso County, Colorado: When Cases Are Moved from Juvenile to District Court
For a juvenile teen to face charges in district court in Colorado Springs, El Paso County and elsewhere in Colorado, any of the following circumstances must have been alleged:
1.The juvenile was twelve or thirteen when the offense was committed and the juvenile committed a class 1 or 2 felony or crime of violence;
2.The juvenile was 14 years of age or older when the offense was committed and committed a delinquent act that constitutes a felony; and
3.After investigation and a hearing, the juvenile court finds it would be contrary to the best interests of the juvenile or of the public to retain jurisdiction.
In considering whether or not to waive juvenile court jurisdiction over the juvenile, the juvenile court will consider many factors. These factors could include the record and previous history of the juvenile, whether the alleged offense was against persons or property, or the maturity of the juvenile as determined by considerations of the juvenile's home, environment, emotional attitude and pattern of living.
Why You Need the Best Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys in Arapahoe County
If you have more questions about juvenile direct filing in Arapahoe County, Aurora or anywhere else in Colorado, call our experienced juvenile attorneys right away. Our lawyers are skilled and knowledgeable about the rules surrounding Arapahoe juvenile court in Englewood and across Colorado. We also understand and empathize with families of juveniles who face arrests or accusations of a crime. We believe juveniles should be given a second chance because we all know what it's like to make a mistake in judgment or a poor decision due to immaturity. In many juvenile cases, we can work with the district attorney assigned to the case to get them to understand your child's case better. We will work towards a more favorable outcome for your child, whether that is the juvenile diversion program, a case dismissal, or deferred adjudication. Call our office today to set up a free initial consultation with us and protect your child's future.