Explaining the Juvenile Delinquency Process

Judicial 101 – Juvenile Law
Over one hundred years ago, Colorado became one of the first states in the country to commencing
creating a separate juvenile justice system.
In 1889, Colorado created a youthful correctional institution in Buena Vista for male persons
between the ages of sixteen and thirty who were convicted of crimes punishable by a term not less
than ninety days. S.B. 169, 1889 Sess. Laws 418, 420
The purpose was to separate juvenile offenders from adult offenders by creating a special system for
the appropriate sanctioning of juveniles who violate the law.
With the Colorado's passage of the Act of April 12, 1899, mandating the separate treatment of child
truants, can be argued to be the first time in the country that delinquent children were afforded
treatment separate from that of adults. King, Colorado Juvenile Court History: The First Hundred Years, 32
Colo. Law. 63 (2003)
In 1903, Colorado established its first formal juvenile justice system. King, Colorado Juvenile Court
History at 64. Flakes v. People 153 P.3d 427, 432 (Colo.,2007)
In 1964, the General Assembly abolished separate juvenile courts in all
districts except Denver, where the Denver Juvenile Court was authorized by
constitutional amendment of Feb. 20, 1964 Colo. Sess. Laws 437, 444; Colo. Const. Art.
VI, § 15.
Colorado adopted the Children's Code in 1967 and incorporated rule whereby
“ juveniles are also entitled to the essentials of due process and fundamental
People in Interest of J.A.M., 174 Colo. 245, 250, 483 P.2d 362, 364
In 1973, as part of a reform that repealed and reenacted the Children's Code,
the General Assembly began, for the first time since 1923, the process of
adding to the enumerated crimes exempting a juvenile from the protection of
the juvenile justice system.
See 1973 Laws 384,, Flakes v. People 153 P.3d 427, 433
19-2-102. Legislative declaration:
(1) The general assembly hereby finds that the intent of this article is to protect, restore, and improve
the public safety by creating a
system of juvenile justice that will appropriately
sanction juveniles who violate the law and, in certain cases, will also provide
the opportunity to bring together affected victims, the community, and
juvenile offenders for restorative purposes. The general assembly further finds that,
while holding paramount the public safety, the juvenile justice system shall take into
consideration the best interests of the juvenile, the victim, and the
community in providing appropriate treatment to reduce the rate of recidivism in
the juvenile justice system and to assist the juvenile in becoming a productive member of society.
(2) The general assembly hereby finds that the public has the right to safe and secure homes and
communities and that when a delinquent act occurs such safety and security is compromised; and the
result is harm to the victim, the community, and the juvenile offender. The general assembly
finds that the juvenile justice system should seek to repair such harm
and that victims and communities should be provided with the
opportunity to elect to participate actively in a restorative process that
would hold the juvenile offender accountable for his or her offense.
One of the fundamental differences between the juvenile
system of justice and an adult criminal prosecution is the
overriding goal of the Children's Code to provide guidance and
rehabilitation of an adjudicated delinquent child in a manner
consistent with the best interest of the child and the protection
of society rather than fixing criminal responsibility, guilt, and
People v. J.J.H., 17 P.3d 159 Colo.,2001
A delinquency adjudication, however, is a special
statutory proceeding that is noncriminal in
C.B. v. People 122 P.3d 1065, 1066 (Colo.App.,2005)
WHAT IS A JUVINILE [for our purpose]?
the juvenile court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings:
(a) Concerning any juvenile ten years of age or older who has violated:
(I) Any federal or state law, except nonfelony state traffic, game and fish, and parks
and recreation laws or rules, the offenses specified in section 18-13-121, C.R.S.,
concerning tobacco products, the offense specified in section 18-13-122, C.R.S.,
concerning the illegal possession or consumption of ethyl alcohol by an underage
person, and the offenses specified in section 18-18-406(1) and (3), C.R.S., concerning
marijuana and marijuana concentrate;
(II) Any county or municipal ordinance except traffic ordinances, the penalty for
which may be a jail sentence of more than ten days; or
(III) Any lawful order of the court made under this title
C.R.S.A. § 19-2-104
C.R.S. 19-1-103 defines juvenile as under 18 years
What are the Rules of our proceedings ?
- why do we look like a criminal proceeding?
 The Colorado rules of juvenile procedure shall apply in all
proceedings conducted under this article. CO ST § 19-2-804.
But, it looks like a criminal case because Procedure Rule 1
Proceedings in delinquency shall be conducted in accordance
with the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, except as
otherwise provided by statute or by these rules.
The distinction between a juvenile delinquency case and an
adult criminal case is the sentencing or dispositional
alternatives available to the juvenile court. See Adjudication
for more information
passing note: The big deviation(that always makes for conversation….
Enacted as a modification to the juvenile justice system provisions of the Children's Code, the direct filing statute provides
the prosecution with discretion to charge a juvenile as an adult in district court, if certain enumerated criteria are satisfied.
The direct filing statute exposes juveniles to adult criminal prosecution based on the juvenile's age and the severity of the
delinquent act, which must be a felony if committed by an adult.
Bostelman v. People 162 P.3d
686, 691 (Colo.,2007)
1. Arrest: When a juvenile is taken into custody law
enforcement presents an arrest report for
processing. Generally prior to formal charges.
2. Summons to Appear with filed complaint/charges.
Who Decides a Case should be Filed?
 The officer arrests and/or District Attorney makes
this decision to prosecute.
 Case Objectives in Juvenile Delinquency
safety for the community
Set the child up for success
Address any underlying issue
Deter future criminal behavior
Find a resolution that serves the interests of the child and the
Resources to Avoid Filing a Case
[a new form]
Victim-Offender Mediation Referral Forms
 Who decides what to offer—and how?
 What is GAL’s role in this decision?
The Screeing Process for Serving
SB94 Youth
 Arrest
 Screening
 Detention vs. Release
 CJRA (Colorado Juvenile Risk Assessment)
 Contact DSS if juvenile involvement exists.
 Detention Hearing – within 48 hours –
usually Mon, Wed & Fri (New Charges)
 Pretrial Supervision – Must be ordered by
judge. (this is not probation)
SB94 Defined
 SB94 covers the 12th Judicial District – 6 counties.
 Our fiscal agent is the Judicial Department, which is
housed in Probation.
SB94 is a separate entity from Probation.
SB94 supervises pre-adjudicated juveniles who have not
admitted to a crime or been found guilty of a crime.
SB94 serves juveniles ages 10-17.
SB94 does not handle municipal charges.
Detention beds are capped statewide at 422 beds.
The 12th District is capped at 4 beds.
 Who can be placed in Detention?
 New Charges
 Warrants
 Probation Violations
 Who cannot be placed in Detention?
charged with status offense
Juveniles only waiting for placement.
Juveniles who are out of control.
D & N holds (unless ordered by a Judge)
Intoxicated Juveniles
Type of crimes for detention purposes
 Status Offense-these are minor offenses that involve actions
that are illegal due to the minor’s age, such as driving without a
license, or possessing/consuming alcohol. We cannot hold status
offenders in detention.
 Delinquency crimes – these are offenses which are crimes no
matter the age of the offender, such as robbery, theft, destruction
of property, arson, and more.
Detention Services
 School
 Suicide watch
 Mental Health (Med evals, MH evals)
 Medical, Dental – Can be transported, no
staff on site.
Juvenile Placement
 As per CRS 19-2-915- DSS can be ordered to take
 DSS involvement may be requested by SB94 or
directly ordered by the Judge.
Guardian ad litem
 C.R.S. § 19-1-103. Definitions (59) “Guardian ad litem” means a person
appointed by a court to act in the best interests of a person whom the person
appointed is representing in proceedings under this title and who, if
appointed to represent a person in a dependency and neglect proceeding
under article 3 of this title, shall be an attorney-at-law licensed to practice in
 GAL represents the children’s best interest, not necessarily what the child
• GAL is not the child’s “guardian” and does not take the place of child’s parents.
• GAL conducts initial investigation:
• Advocates for child’s best interest at every
stage of the case.
 C.R.S. § 19-1-111. Appointment of guardian ad litem
• § 19-1-111(2)(a)(I) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the juvenile
where: (1) no parent, guardian, legal custodian, custodian, relative, stepparent,
or spousal equivalent appears at the first or subsequent hearing in the case;
• § 19-1-111(2)(a)(II). The court finds a conflict of interest between the juvenile
and such persons; or
• § 19-1-111(2)(a)(III The court finds that the best interests of the juvenile will be
served by the appointment of a guardian ad litem.
The Parents
 C.R.S.A. § 19-2-113 (1)(a): The parent, guardian, or legal
custodian of any juvenile subject to proceedings under
this article is required to attend all proceedings
that may be brought under this article concerning the
• The court may impose contempt sanctions for failure
 C.R.S.A. § 19-2-113(1)(b): the court may specify its
expectations for the juvenile's parent, guardian, or
legal custodian, so long as the parent, guardian, or legal
custodian is a party to the delinquency proceedings.
The Parents and sentencing
 Maximum parent involvement in the sentencing orders;
 Participation by the parent in parental responsibility training;
 Cooperation by the parent in treatment plans for the juvenile;
 Performance of public service by the parent;
 Cost of care reimbursement by the parent;
 make restitution not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars
C.R.S.A. § 19-2-119
Attorneys for Child
 Private counsel
 Court Appointed Counsel
•Public Defender
• •If the court finds upon defendant's affidavit or sworn testimony that the
defendant is financially unable to obtain counsel, the court shall appoint
the state public defender. (§16-5-501 C.R.S.)
• The state public defender shall represent as counsel each person who is
under arrest for or charged with committing a felony or Class 1
misdemeanor or any person charged with Class 2 and Class 3
misdemeanors in which the prosecution is seeking incarceration. (§21-1103 C.R.S.)
 •Alternate Defense Counsel
• the state public defender has a conflict of interest in providing legal
representation and in cases where the court determines the defendant is
partially indigent, alternate defense counsel shall be appointed. (§21-2101 C.R.S.)
juvenile charged with a criminal offense has the same constitutional rights as an adult
charged with a criminal offense.
Should the juvenile wish to proceed to a jury trial the juvenile may request a jury trial
by six jurors pursuant to §19-2-107 C.R.S.
• The juvenile is not entitled to a trial by jury when the petition alleges a
delinquent act which is a misdemeanor, a petty offense, a violation of a
municipal or county ordinance, or a violation of a court order.
• Speedy trial for a jury trial runs for six months pursuant to §19-2-108 C.R.S.
§ 19-2-107
Speed trial for non-jury case is within sixty days following the entry of a plea of not
guilty. C.R.S. § 19-2-708
The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, just as in an adult criminal
 Plea Negotiation Considerations
• The charged offense
• child’s delinquency history
• Underlying issues contributing to
delinquent behavior
• The child’s likelihood of success
• Victims’ thoughts and feelings
 Pre-Sentence Investigation: Prior to the sentencing hearing, the juvenile probation
department shall conduct a presentence investigation unless waived by the
court on its own determination or on recommendation of the prosecution or the juvenile.
 The presentence investigation shall take into consideration and build on the intake
assessment performed by the screening team. The presentence investigation may
address but is not limited to the following:
Details of the Offense;
Statements made by the victims of the offense;
The amount of restitution, if any, that should be imposed on the juvenile or the
juvenile’s parent, guardian, legal custodian.
The juvenile’s criminal record, if any.
Any history of substance abuse by the juvenile;
The juveniles’ education history, including any special education history and any
individualized education program the juvenile may have pursuant to
section 22-20-108, C.R.S;
The juvenile’s employment history;
The juvenile’s family;
The juvenile’s peer relationships:
See 19-5-905 C.R.S.
Sentencing generally
Substance Abuse Treatment/Abstinence Monitoring
 Mental Health Assessment/Treatment
 Parenting Classes/In-home Parenting Training
 Family Therapy
 Requirements for appropriate care of
 DSS Involvement
 DYC [up to 2 yrs]
 Jail [if 18 yrs at time of sentence]
Sentencing specifically
 Sentencing Schedule-options 19-2-207:
(a) Commitment to the department of human services, as provided in section 19-2-909;
(b) Confinement in the county jail or in community corrections, as provided in section 19-2910.
(c) Detention, as provided in section 19-2-915;
(d) Placement of legal custody of the juvenile with a relative or other suitable person, as
provided in section 19-2-912
(e) Probation , as provided in section 19-2-913;
(f) Commitment to the community accountability program, as provided in section 19-2-915;
(g) Placement of legal custody of the juvenile in the county department of social services or
a child placement agency, as provided in section 19-2-915;
(h) Placement of the juvenile in a hospital or other suitable facility for receipt of special care,
as provided in section 19-2-916;
(i) Imposition of fine, as provided in section 19-2-917’
(j) Ordering the juvenile to pay restitution in section 19-2-918;
(k) Ordering the juvenile to complete an anger management treatment program or any
other appropriate treatment program, as provided in section 19-2-918.5
(l) Participation in an evaluation to determine whether the juvenile would be suitable for
restorative justice practices that would be a part of the juvenile’s sentence: except that the
court may not order participation in restorative justice practices if the juvenile was
adjudicated a delinquent for unlawful sexual behavior as defined in section 16-22-102(9).
Probation Review Hearings
 Court must hold regular review hearings to monitor
probation progress.
The Victim’s Rights Act
What case types does it apply to?
Murder, Manslaughter,
Criminally Negligent Homicide
 Vehicular Homicide
 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Degree Assault
 Vehicular Assault
 Menacing
 Kidnapping
 Sexual Assault Crimes
 Robbery
 Incest
 Child Abuse
 Crimes Against At-risk Adults
and At-risk Juveniles
Domestic Violence
 Stalking
 Bias-Motivated Crime
 Careless Driving Resulting in
Injury / Death
 Crimes Against Witnesses
 Inchoate Crimes Involving
Named Offenses
 Indecent Exposure
 Violation of Protection Order
Relating to Named Crimes
The Victim’s Rights Act
When does it apply ?
the short answer: all critical stages
The practical answer:
Critical Stages for VRA purposes:
Filing of Charges (or not)
Preliminary Hearing
Bond Changes
Subpoena for Medical Information
or Victim’s Comp. Information
 Any Disposition
 Trial
 Sentencing
Appellate Review or Decision
Sentencing Modification
Probation Complaints / Revocation
Change of Venue for Probation
Request for Release from Probation
Attack on Judgment or Conviction
w/ Hearing Set
Parole Hearing / Release or
Discharge/ Revocation
Transfer to a Non-secure Facility
exceptions to some of the principles presented in this
 You should consult an attorney familiar with this
area of the law if you have specific legal questions.

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