It is every parent's nightmare to get a call from the police station to tell them that their child has been accused of a crime. No one wants to see their child in handcuffs or behind bars for allegedly breaking the law. As a parent, you may be wondering what your next steps to take are, what the juvenile court system is like, and how you can help. Our blog seeks to explain some of the things you should know if your child has been arrested in Colorado Springs, and why you need a criminal defense attorney to help you as soon as possible.
What is different about the juvenile court system?
The court system in Colorado is divided into adult court and juvenile court. The main difference between them is the unique needs of those going through them: adult court generally assumes that anyone over the age of 18 can take responsibility for their actions and seeks to punish accused offenders, while the juvenile court system sees those under the age of 18 as incapable of truly making decisions for themselves and seeks to rehabilitate an offender before they commit any other crimes or partake in any action that could negatively affect their future.
Since the juvenile system is rehabilitative, the penalties that a juvenile offender may be facing are drastically different than those an adult offender may be facing. Adult offenders usually have some kind of punishment or sentencing minimum the court must impose in connection with the crime. Juvenile court, conversely, depend on the needs of the child and what the court sees as being in their best interest.
Some of the penalties a juvenile offender may be facing include:
- Verbal warning
- House arrest
- Change of placement
- Juvenile detention
- Community service
- Electronic monitoring
- Enroll in drug or alcohol treatment
These options are available to the judge, as well as sentencing the child as an adult depending on the crime. While some courts can choose to ease up on your child, others may see their actions and unnecessarily aggressive and attempt to punish them accordingly. Unfortunately, these penalties can have a lasting effect on the child into their adult years, preventing them from obtaining important educational and employment opportunities.
Will my child's arrest stay on their criminal record?
One of the most common questions any parent wants to hear from a juvenile crimes defense lawyer is whether or not this criminal charge will affect their child's future. In short, yes. Depending on the type of crime committed and the punishment your child received after court, they may face difficulty in educational and employment endeavors. Fortunately, there are options that can help reduce the overall impact your child feels.
Expungement is an option that can be explored with the help of an attorney. Expungement seals a youthful offender's records, making them inaccessible for others to access unless they are brought up on another criminal charge in the future. There are some instances when an expungement is unable to be granted. Speaking with a lawyer can help determine if expungement is right for your child and take the necessary steps to block a criminal conviction from affecting their lives.
How can I get started on my child's defense?
When your child has been accused of a crime, your first step is to obtain aggressive and dedicated legal defense. Your child has their whole life ahead of them, and a small mistake should not prevent them from living to their abilities. Unfortunately, without proper legal guidance, it can.
At The Samuelson Law Firm, Attorney Christian Samuelson has over 15 years of experience fighting for the rights of the criminally accused, both adult and juvenile. His dedication to helping those that have been arrested have led to an elite AV Rating.
Contact The Samuelson Law Firm if you or a loved one have been arrested in Colorado Springs for a
free consultation to defend your rights!