If you have a child who is being investigated for a crime in Fort Collins, Loveland or Estes Park, it is very important for their future that you work with an experienced juvenile criminal lawyer.
Don’t cut corners in regard to your child’s future.
We have a thorough understanding of the complex juvenile justice system, and have represented children in many types of criminal cases in Larimer County. Juvenile cases are treated differently than adult cases in our justice system (juveniles are adjudicated, not convicted), but in a few circumstances, children can be charged as adults. If your child is being charged with a case related to sexual assault or other sex crimes, there can be destructive consequences to their future. Your child could:
– Be removed from your home
– Lose contact with their siblings
– Be robbed of the rest of their childhood
The stakes are high with cases involving your children – don’t trust their future to a lawyer who doesn’t work with juveniles on a regular basis. We have experience working with children and we have an understanding of the importance the outcome of a criminal case can have on your child’s future. It is vital that you work with an experienced juvenile criminal lawyer in Larimer County.
What is the Difference between Adjudication and Conviction of Juveniles in Larimer County?
Luckily, because of their age and experience level, juveniles who commit crimes are classified less severely than if that same crime had been committed by an adult. When an adult pleads to or is found guilty of a crime, they receive a criminal conviction. If a child or teenager pleads guilty to or is found guilty of a crime, they receive a juvenile adjudication. An adjudication is similar to a conviction, except it does not subject the youth to the same consequences as an adult conviction. The only exception is when the Larimer County District Attorney submits a Direct File in District Court to try the child as an adult. Generally, this only happens in cases where death or serious injuries occurred and also in some sex crime cases.
What is Direct Filing in Juvenile Courts in Fort Collins?
Direct File is a prosecutor’s discretion to bring charges against a juvenile in adult court instead of juvenile court. Prior to 2012, Direct Filing was very common and many children were tried as adults. Now, however, a legislative bill was signed by the governor to protect the rights of kids. This new bill now only allows Direct Filing for teenagers 16 years old or older who have been accused of a violent, sexual, homicide, or kidnapping crime. Also, if the Boulder County District Attorney decides to Direct File, the juvenile can appeal the request. If the Direct Filing is approved and the child is convicted as an adult, the sentence can be transferred to the Colorado Department of Corrections when the child turns 18 to serve an adult sentence. Because the teen will be punished as an adult, Direct File is used in cases where the prosecutor feels the crime deserves a harsher punishment.
What Makes Juvenile Court Different?
Different than District Court, Juvenile Court is less punitive with more lenient sentences. At the O’Malley Law Office, we are experienced presenting our young client’s situation to the court, and thankfully the judge or magistrate will take this into consideration. We can be your child’s greatest advocate to ease the consequences from false allegations or exaggerated charges by getting the case dismissed, a deferred adjudication, or a diversion program. We want to protect your child’s future and make sure they get fair treatment.
We Have Strong Relationships with Treaters and Counselors
Most criminal cases that involve juveniles result in the need for counselors or treaters for sex or drug offenses. Enrolling your child in a qualified program is absolutely critical to their future.
– Juvenile Sex Offenses
Juvenile sex offenders are governed by similar rules as adult sex offenders under the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). There are many restrictions that are required of sex offenders, including where they are able to live, where they are allowed to work, and who they can contact. The SOMB governs every aspect of a sex offender’s life, including what they think about. Obviously, it is important to choose a qualified counselor to handle your child’s life. Colorado law dictates which providers are allowed to evaluate and treat sex offenders – they must be SOMB approved. We have cultivated relationships with SOMB counselors who have a genuine concern for the children in all our juvenile sex offense cases.
– Drug Offenses
If your child has been involved in crime related to drug offenses, they will need to have the involvement of a treater who truly cares about your child and is willing to work alongside you as you seek to help your child. We have built strong relationships with qualified, experienced treaters who have worked with lawyers and family to help juveniles with drug-related offenses.
We work hard to avoid your child’s registration as a sex offender.
Your Child is Not a Predator, and Shouldn’t Be Treated Like One
Our government is not very good at distinguishing between hardened criminals and children who are simply exploring their sexuality. We can help here, too. We understand that your child is not a hardened criminal. We fight against the government’s “one-size-fits-all” mentality towards juvenile sex crimes. We will fight hard to show the Larimer County DA and judge the real story. We will help them to get to know your family. You are unable to do this for yourself in court because you may reveal admissible evidence which can harm the outcome of your child’s case. We know what DA’s want to hear, and we’ll present your case in the best way possible.
Don’t Let a Childhood Mistake Ruin Your Child’s Life
In non-sex cases, the juvenile justice system makes a few allowances for childhood mistakes in Fort Collins, Wellington and Windsor. If your child is being investigated for Theft – C.R.S. 18-4-401 or Trespassing – C.R.S. 18-4-502, for example, our justice system takes your child’s future into consideration if they are properly adjudicated. We work on many juvenile cases and have experience handling them to ensure that your child doesn’t end up with life-altering consequences from a childhood mistake.
Our goal is to get your child’s records sealed before their criminal case carries over into their adulthood.
Ensure Your Child’s Future: Work with an Experienced Juvenile Criminal Lawyer in Larimer County
We understand that children make mistakes. Don’t allow that mistake to cause your son or daughter to end up with lifelong consequences, such as being labeled as a sex offender for life, adhering to the strict rules of sex offender registration, or having a criminal record that doesn’t allow them to get the job they want. We are often able to minimize the harsh laws which require sex offender registration, and we work to find ways to structure your child’s case so that they will be able to seal their records in the future. Our advice to you is: “Don’t cut corners in regard to your child’s future.” Don’t speak with the police about your case. Work with an experienced juvenile criminal lawyer to keep your child’s future safe.