In Colorado, people who are younger than 18 years old are generally considered to be juveniles in the eyes of the law. This typically means that juveniles go through a separate court system and face different charges and penalties in the event they are accused or convicted of a criminal offense.
However, in some cases, juveniles charged as adults may:
- Have to resolve their case in the adult criminal justice system (specifically in a district court)
- Face penalties that will likely be far more severe than the potential punishments associated with cases adjudicated in the juvenile criminal justice system.
The specific factors that can allow prosecutors to file criminal charges against juveniles as adults (in other words “direct file” a juvenile case with a district court) include:
- The age of the accused juvenile – The juvenile has to have been at least 16 years old when the offense in question was committed. However, it can be possible for children as young as 12 years old to be charged as adults in Colorado, depending on the nature of the charges in question.
- The type of criminal charges filed against the accused juvenile – For criminal charges filed against a juvenile to be eligible to be filed in a district court in Colorado, these offenses have to be:
- A Class 1 or a Class 2 felony; or
- Associated with allegations of a violent sexual assault, the sexual assault of a child, the sexual assault of a child by someone in a position of trust and/or certain violent crimes.
- The criminal history of the accused juvenile – Specifically, if the accused juvenile has been previously tried or convicted as an adult in a district court (through a prior direct file case, for example), it may be possible for prosecutors to file pending charges against that juvenile in a district court.
When a juvenile faces the possibility of being tried as an adult in a district court, requesting a reverse-transfer hearing will be necessary in order to try to get the case sent back to the juvenile court system.
Given how complicated these cases can be, as well as the fact that a child’s future depends on where these cases are adjudicated, it’s critical that these juveniles have one of the experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers on their side to provide them with the strongest possible defense and superior representation at every stage of their case.
Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kohn Law Firm
Is your child facing the possibility of being charged and tried as an adult? If so, the juvenile defense lawyers at Kohn Law Firm are ready to aggressively defend your child’s rights, fight for their case to be adjudicated in the juvenile court system and work tirelessly to resolve the case as favorably as possible.
At Kohn Law Firm, we have been committed to providing each of our clients with exceptional service, ethical treatment and aggressive representation since 2003. That’s why our clients can always rely on us to:
- Help them navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system
- Provide them with honest answers about their case
- Mitigate the negative impacts of their criminal case
- Do what it takes to help them protect their rights, freedom and future.
Contact Us Today
Let’s discuss your best options for your defense case. To learn more about how we can help you, set up a free initial consultation with us by calling us at (719) 328-9555 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.
From our offices in Colorado Springs, we represent clients throughout the Pikes Peak region and Colorado.