OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY

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1 OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY TWENTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT Stanley L. Garnett, District Attorney Boulder Office: Justice Center, th St., Boulder, Colorado fax: Longmont Office: 1035 Kimbark, Longmont, Colorado fax: TDD/V:

2 The purpose of the Colorado Children s Code and Juvenile Court is to provide the care, guidance, and discipline necessary to assist a juvenile in becoming a productive member of society; as well as to protect the interests of the community and society. --- The primary considerations of the justice system are: (1) the best interests of the juvenile, the victim, and the community; and (2) the public s right to safe and secure homes and communities; and (3) providing appropriate treatment, and punishment necessary to hold the juvenile accountable and repair any harm. (Colorado Revised Statutes ) Contact Information Boulder District Attorney s Office: Boulder Probation: Boulder Diversion Program: Community Justice Services Boulder Courts Boulder Public Defender s Office: University of Colorado Legal Services:

3 The Players Judges and Magistrates: The role of a judge or magistrate is to be a neutral decision maker. The judge will listen to arguments made by the district attorney and the public defender (or a privately retained defense attorney), as well as any statements made by the child and parents. The judge will then make a decision about what will happen in the case. In Boulder, generally, your child will appear in front of a magistrate specifically assigned to hear juvenile cases. District Attorney: The role of the district attorney is to represent the State of Colorado and community and to prosecute the juvenile accused of a crime. Public Defender or Defense Counsel: The role of the public defender or defense counsel is to represent the juvenile accused of the crime. The defense counsel will meet with the juvenile and the family and represent the juvenile in court. Note: Defense counsel does not represent the parents. Guardian ad Litem (GAL): Sometimes a parent may be the victim of the child s crime, or may not be able to provide sufficient or appropriate guidance for his/her child. In this instance, the court may appoint a GAL, who is a lawyer, to be an additional advocate for the juvenile s best interest. Juvenile s Basic Rights Right to a Lawyer: If a juvenile s family meets certain guidelines, a public defender will be appointed to the case. If a juvenile does not qualify for a public defender, but still would like a lawyer, there are two options: (1) the family can hire a lawyer or (2) the judge will appoint a lawyer, which the family must then pay for. A juvenile does not need to have a lawyer, but may proceed on his /her own. This is called proceeding pro se. (C.R.S )* Right to a Jury Trial: A juvenile has a right to a jury trial in limited situations. If the juvenile has committed a crime of violence or is considered an aggravated offender, then a request for a jury trial may be made. In a juvenile case, juries will be made up of 6 people. (C.R.S ) Right to a Speedy Trial: If a juvenile says he/ she is not guilty and goes to trial, the trial must take place within 60 days, except when a juvenile qualifies for a jury trial, in which case, the trial must take place within 6 months. (C.R.S and ) Interpreter: You and your child have a right to an interpreter. An interpreter will be provided by the court. Who Can Be Charged With a Crime? Any person age can be charged with a crime in juvenile court. Traffic cases, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or While Impaired (DWAI), go directly to County Court with adult traffic offenses. 1 * The Children s Code is part of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The statute numbers are included for the reader s reference.

4 Parental Rights & Responsibilities A parent has the right to be informed about his/her child s case. At least one parent is required to attend every court proceeding. Victims/Witness Assistance Program The Boulder District Attorney s Office places a high priority on providing services to crime victims and witnesses. A juvenile specialist is available to offer information, assistance, and community referrals Certain protection orders are automatically in place if a juvenile is accused of a crime. These protection orders apply to the juvenile s parents as well. The judge may require that a parent comply with certain conditions and expectations. These could include: 24 hour supervision of the child, community service, participation in counseling, parenting classes, and/or abstaining from alcohol or drug use. If a parent does not follow court orders, the judge may hold the parent in contempt of court. If a child is removed from the home because of safety or behavioral concerns, the judge may order the parent to contribute to the costs of caring for the child. (C.R.S and ) A parent may be responsible for court fees and costs, costs of restitution, and the cost of a court appointed lawyer. The mission of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program is to ensure that those affected by crime are treated with fairness, respect, and dignity throughout the criminal justice process. The specialist acts as a link between the victim and the district attorney, ensuring that the district attorney is informed about the victim s wishes for the outcome of the case as well as the impact of the crime on the victim. The specialist will provide information about the system, court dates, and the direction the case is likely to take. If a victim or witness is subpoenaed for a court appearance, the Specialist will arrange a meeting to help the person feel safe, comfortable, and familiar with the court, and accompany them to court if needed. Through the Victim Compensation Program, funds are available to help victims of crimes with certain expenses, including, medical bills related to the crime, psychotherapy, self-defense classes, and lost-wages. Mandatory Protection Order: When a juvenile is charged with a crime, a mandatory protection order will be in place against the juvenile and his/her parents. This protection order restrains the juvenile or juvenile s parents from harassing, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness or victim of the crime charged. This protection order is in place from start to finish of the case. (C.R.S ) 2

5 The Process from Start to Finish The Crime All crimes in Colorado can be found in the Colorado Criminal Statutes. These crimes have been established by the Colorado legislature. Typically in Boulder we see the following crimes: Assault/Harassment Burglary Dating Violence Drug and Alcohol Consumption or Possession Obstructing a Peace Officer Obstructing School Officials Theft Trespass in buildings or cars Unlawful Sexual Contact Sexting* * sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically Police Contact My child was given a referral: The referral your child received will state what crime the police believe took place. My child was arrested: If the police believe that your child has committed a crime, they may take your child into temporary custody. If your child is taken into custody, the police will notify you as soon as possible. Your child will be finger printed and his/her picture will be taken at the detention center. The detention center staff will help assess whether your child should be released on bond before seeing the judge. If your child is not released on bond before seeing the judge, he/she will remain at the juvenile detention center until the first court hearing. Court Hearings Detention Hearing If your child was arrested and held at the juvenile detention center, a detention hearing will be held within 48 hours (not including weekends and holidays). (C.R.S ) At a detention hearing the judge will make a decision about whether your child should continue to stay in detention or not. There are many things that the judge may consider including: the type of crime alleged, any prior crimes your child has committed, whether your child is a danger to himself/herself or the community, and whether there was a weapon involved. The judge may require that you post a bond in order for your child to be released. The judge may also require the child to participate in certain programs as a condition of release. (C.R.S ) The referral will also have a court date on it you and your child must attend court on that date. 3

6 The Process from Start to Finish Filing of Charges: The district attorney must file charges against a child within 72 hours after the detention hearing (not including weekends). It is up to the district attorney to decide what charges to file against a child. The district attorney will review the facts of the case and the law in order to determine what charges to file. Once the charges are filed, the child will then have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. (C.R.S ) Dispositional Hearing: Frequently, a case is settled without a trial. If your child pleads guilty to the charges, the judge will decide what the sentence should be. Everyone will get an opportunity to tell the judge what they think should happen to the child and why, before the judge makes a decision. Adjudicatory Trial: If your child s case goes to trial, it must take place within 60 days of your child pleading not guilty. Most trials are what are called bench or court trials. This means that there is not a jury. Instead the judge hears the evidence and makes a decision whether or not the district attorney has proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Under certain serious circumstances, a child has the right to a jury trial. If a jury trial is granted by the judge, the trial will be held within six months of your child entering a not guilty plea. At a trial each side will call witnesses and ask questions of those witnesses. Each side also will cross examine the other side s witnesses. Trials typically last anywhere from one day to one week. Hearings on Motions: There may be legal issues that come up before a case is resolved (either by a disposition or trial) that require the judge to make a decision. These will be decided at a motions hearing. What does it mean to be adjudicated a juvenile delinquent?????? Under Colorado Law, a juvenile is any child under the age of 18 years old. If a juvenile either pleads guilty, or is found guilty by a judge or jury to committing a delinquent act, the juvenile will be adjudicated a juvenile delinquent. An adjudication is the same for a juvenile as a conviction is for an adult. A delinquent act means a violation of any statute, ordinance, or order of the court, excluding traffic cases. Once a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent, he/she will have a criminal record (unless it is later sealed or expunged). The juvenile will always have a ticket or arrest record with the police department, even if the criminal record is sealed. 4

7 The Process from Start to Finish Special Notes: Charging a Juvenile as an Adult: In extremely serious instances, a juvenile may be charged as an adult. If this happens, the juvenile will appear in adult court. The juvenile will have the right to a jury trial of 12 people. The juvenile will also be subject to adult sentencing if convicted. (C.R.S ) Mental Health The juvenile judge may order a mental health screening of the child if there is reason to believe he/she could benefit from mental health services. (C.R.S ) Some of the reasons a juvenile may be charged as an adult include: He/she is fourteen years of age or older when the alleged crime is committed, AND The alleged crime is a crime of violence under Colorado law. This includes crimes such as: murder, first or second degree assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, certain sexual offenses, and first degree arson or burglary, or, The alleged crime involves the use of a deadly weapon, or, The alleged crime is vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, or felonious arson, or, The juvenile has been determined to be a habitual juvenile offender. (C.R.S and ) Juvenile Sex Offenses: The Boulder District Attorney s Office takes sexual offenses committed by juveniles seriously. The justice system offers pretrial services, including immediate risk assessment and an appropriate level of supervision and treatment. Depending on the risk of future sexual misconduct and other factors, all sentencing options are available. The Juvenile Victim Specialist works with the victim and family to help provide therapeutic resources.????? Who Can Come to Court? Under Colorado law, our courtrooms are open to the public unless the judge decides that it is in the best interests of the child or community to close the hearings. ( ). When entering a courtroom, it is important to act respectfully. Please speak quietly. Hats should be removed, cell phones should be off, food, drinks, and chewing gum are not allowed. Information To and From Schools To promote school safety the District Attorney s Office must disclose certain information to school districts. In addition, the district attorney has access to a juvenile s school records if requested. (C.R.S ) 5

8 The Process from Start to Finish Diversion Program The District Attorney s Office Juvenile Diversion Program is an opportunity for the juvenile to take personal responsibility as an alternative to formal prosecution. The purpose of diversion is to encourage accountability, prevent future misconduct, as well as to impose consequences. If a juvenile enters into the Diversion Program and completes it successfully, no future court action will be necessary and the case and charges will be dismissed. However, if the juvenile fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract, and/or receives another offense, then the case is referred back to the district attorney and the court for further proceedings and/or filing of the original and new charges. Sentencing Who is Eligible: Any juvenile between the ages of who has little or no criminal history, and is recommended by the District Attorney s Office. The Referral Process: The arresting officer will file a report with the District Attorney s Office. Then, a district attorney with the juvenile division will review the report and any other information that is provided. The district attorney will determine whether the juvenile would benefit from Diversion or the traditional court process. The district attorney in charge of the case then notifies the court. The juvenile will not learn about his/her referral to Diversion until the first appearance in court. The judge will read the names of those who qualify, and after a short orientation with the Diversion Coordinator the juvenile and his/her parents will be given a date to return for an in-depth interview with the Diversion Coordinator. Diversion supervision lasts six months. The juvenile will have certain terms and conditions to complete during the six month period. A typical contract may involve community service work, restorative justice, a letter of apology, restitution, drug testing, counseling, life-skills classes, school attendance and passing grades, employment, etc. Completion: If the juvenile successfully completes his/her contract, the case is terminated. 6 When your child pleads guilty or is found guilty by the court, a sentencing hearing will take place. There are many options available for sentencing. The sentence will depend on many factors, including: the type of crime committed, the juvenile s criminal history, statements by the victim, statements by the juvenile and the juvenile s family, as well as any arguments made by the district attorney and defense counsel. Deferred Adjudication/Sentence: When a juvenile enters a guilty plea, the court may postpone the entry of the adjudication for a certain time frame, up to one year. The judge will then set certain conditions that the juvenile must meet during that time frame. During the period of the deferred adjudication, the probation department will supervise the juvenile. If the juvenile complies with all the conditions required, then after the time period set by the judge, the guilty plea will be withdrawn and the case dismissed. If the juvenile does not comply, the judge will hold a hearing, the child will be adjudicated, and the judge may re-sentence the juvenile to more serious consequences. (C.R.S )

9 The Process from Start to Finish Restorative Justice: As a term or condition of diversion or a sentence, a juvenile may participate in a restorative justice program. This program brings together the juvenile, his/her family, the victim, police officers, and community members to have a facilitated discussion about the crime and its impact on the victim and community. The goal is to repair the harm and to assist the juvenile s understanding of what it means to be a positive member of the community. Probation: A juvenile may be sentenced to probation. The judge will require the juvenile to follow certain terms and conditions for a set period of time. These terms and conditions frequently include: Report to his/her probation officer. Jail time of up to 45 days (with possible school or work release). No new law violations. School full time. Follow home rules and curfew. Community service work. Treatment programs and classes. Anger management classes. Drug and alcohol testing. Restorative Justice. Restitution and court costs and fees. Intensive Supervised Probation (JISP): Sometimes a juvenile s criminal activity is serious and continuing, requiring more intensive supervision by the Probation Department. This can include electric home monitoring (with an ankle bracelet), frequent contact with the probation officer, constant monitoring of activities, and detention time. Commitment to the Department of Human Services: The judge may order a juvenile placed in an out-of-home facility such as a group home or foster care with the Department of Human Services. A review hearing will be held every six months to determine whether the juvenile is in an appropriate placement. (C.R.S and ) Colorado Department of Youth Corrections: Depending on the type of crime and the juvenile s criminal history, a juvenile may be sentenced to the DYC for a period of up to 2 years. In Boulder County, commitment to DYC is used as a last resort after community based services have failed. (C.R.S ) County Jail or Community Corrections: If a juvenile is 18 years old at the time of sentencing, the court may sentence the juvenile to up to 6 months in county jail or up to 1 year in a community corrections facility. (C.R.S ) Juvenile Intensive Treatment Court (Juvenile Drug Court): A juvenile may be eligible to participate in JITC as a condition of probation. This program works with juveniles and their families when the juvenile has significant drug or alcohol abuse problems. Juveniles are required to attend biweekly court review hearings, submit to drug and alcohol testing, and participate in treatment, therapy, and pro-social activities. 7

10 The Process from Start to Finish Community Justice Services Community Justice Services provides the Boulder Enhanced Supervision Team (BEST). BEST may be ordered by the judge to provide additional supervision in certain cases in which parents are encountering difficulties supervising their children. BEST is an alternative to detention. Gang Response and Intervention Program (GRIP): GRIP is a proactive collaboration of various law enforcement and other government agencies. GRIP identifies risks and needs and offers a structure of support and acceptance. This program also provides education, awareness, intervention, and alternatives for youth, parents, and the community. Minor in Possession (MIP) Under Colorado Law C.R.S , a juvenile under the age of 21 can be ticketed for the consumption or possession of alcohol. These cases are heard in Boulder during the MIP docket day. While juveniles have a right to a lawyer in these cases, the juvenile is responsible for hiring an attorney one will not be provided. Typical consequences include: court fees and costs, alcohol education and treatment, community service, and fines. More severe consequences can include: fines, loss of driver s license, and jail time. *Note: If the minor is a student at the University of Colorado, Judicial Affairs may be notified of a ticket by the Boulder Police Department and the student may face academic consequences. Sealing Records and Expungement!!!! A juvenile may request that the judge seal or expunge his/her records. This is done by filing a motion with the court. A motion may be filed immediately if no charges are filed or if the child is found not guilty; 1 year after the completion of diversion; 4 years after the end of a deferred adjudication or term of probation is over; or 4 years after the juvenile is released from custody or parole. In some instances a juvenile will not be able to seal or expunge his/her records, for example, if the juvenile has been found to be an aggravated or violent offender. Even when a record is sealed or expunged, there will always be a police record showing the juvenile s name, address, and offense charged. (C.R.S ) 8

11 Notes and Questions... 9

12 Boulder Justice Center th Street Boulder, Colorado fax: OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY TWENTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT Stanley L. Garnett, District Attorney Longmont 1035 Kimbark Longmont, Colorado fax: TDD/V:

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