Grand Junction Juvenile Crime Defense Attorneys
It used to be that when young people got into trouble with the law, it was considered a youthful discretion and wouldn’t be held against them as adults. Unfortunately, the legal system in Mesa County is no longer lenient when it comes to juvenile crime. More children are being charged as adults, and the penalties tend to be harsher.
If your child has run afoul of law enforcement, don’t assume everything is going to be okay; that this misunderstanding will be cleared up naturally. First, you need to protect your child. A juvenile adjudication can destroy a child’s educational prospects and leave a long-term stigma. Our trial attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC, have handled hundreds of criminal cases involving juveniles. When a minor makes a mistake, we believe they need understanding and help, not aggressive punishment. Call us today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free consultation.
When a juvenile is arrested in Grand Junction, law enforcement has to notify the child’s parents or guardians in a timely fashion. They may release the juvenile into the custody of his parents, or they might decide to hold him in a juvenile facility. This is generally the case when the crime involved violence or the use of a weapon.
If they have decided not to release your child, the police have 48 hours to hold a hearing in court to determine whether holding your child is justified. At this point, they must either release your child into your custody, or make a decision on what the appropriate holding facility is, whether a shelter or detention facility.
The case will then be forwarded to the Mesa County District Attorney, who will determine what charges are warranted and whether to try your child as a juvenile or an adult. This is an important step in the process, as more and more cases are being remanded to adult court. Once the decision to charge your child as an adult has been made, they aren’t likely to change their minds unless new evidence comes to light. The sooner you hire a criminal defense lawyer, the better.
Fortunately, there are a number of options available to juvenile defendants in Grand Junction. When the charges are not serious, it’s possible for the case to be handled informally, often with an apology on the part of the minor and some act of retribution, like community service. There are also opportunities for your child to enter various programs that serve as both a punishment and an educational opportunity at the same time.
For example, the Colorado Diversion Program is a voluntary option designed to prevent youths, especially first-time offenders, from entering into the justice system. The program uses a number of methods, including prevention, intervention, and advocacy services, in a manner that is tailored to each juvenile. It is a huge advantage to have your child entered into a diversion program rather than the regular court system.
This is just one example of the options available to your child following an arrest. To learn more, contact the friendly and compassionate legal representatives at Peters & Nolan, LLC. We’ll go over all of the avenues open to you and figure out a game plan that works best for your child. Call (970) 243-4357 today to schedule a free consultation.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.