A juvenile or minor is a child who is under the age of 18. Traditionally across the U.S. and also in Colorado, the juvenile court system is oriented toward rehabilitating youth who have committed crimes (referred to as “acts of delinquency”) as opposed to punishing them. As a result, the juvenile court system has been structured differently from the court system that tries adults. While juveniles enjoy many of the same rights as adults, such as the right to an attorney, the right to confront and cross-examine their accusers, and 5th Amendment rights of protection against self-incrimination, their cases are heard by a judge, not tried by juries and are not public proceedings.
Some of acts committed by juveniles that may result juvenile court hearings include the following:
Alcohol consumption or possession
Assault and battery
Shoplifting / theft
Traffic violations (speeding / driving without a license)
Running away from home
Staying out after curfew
Skipping school / truancy
Under Colorado law, a juvenile may be tried in the criminal justice system as an adult, if the juvenile committed a serious felony such as murder or rape. Also, if repeated felonies have been committed, the judge may adjudicate that trial as an adult is warranted.
During police questioning a juvenile has the right to have an attorney and/or his parent present and would be advised to follow his attorney’s directions on answering questions. When a juvenile is arrested and taken into custody, if the charges aren’t serious, he may be permitted to return home to his parents. However, when charged with a serious crime, the child may be held in custody until arraigned and bond is set.
Unless your child is charged with a very minor offense, it is recommended you consult a family law attorney who is experienced in juvenile defense to ensure his legal rights are protected. At the Law Offices of Bonnie E. Saltzman, LLC our extensive expertise in juvenile law makes us an excellent choice in assisting with your needs.
At the Law Offices of Bonnie E. Saltzman, LLC we have substantial experience in many areas of family law. To arrange a free no obligation consultation, use the quick contact box and send us a message with your contact information.