Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
The clerk’s office phone number is (720) 337-0570. If your child has a hearing, be sure to leave an extra half hour to find parking and to go through the metal detector.
When will my child see a judge after being arrested in Denver?
If your child is arrested in Denver County and not released, a detention hearing should be held at Denver Juvenile Court within 48 hours. The judge will advise your child of their rights and determine whether they can be released and – if so – under what conditions.
Some minors are put on a pretrial release program (Detention Reduction Program) where they are released from detention but heavily monitored.
A public defender will represent your child during the detention hearing unless you hire a private defense attorney first. Remember that
your child’s attorney is not your attorney, and
that the attorney owes confidentiality to your child.
In some cases, children suspected of crimes are not arrested but instead given a summons. The child is then expected to appear at the court date listed on the summons (called a First Appearance or Advisement Hearing).1
What other court hearings will my child have?
Denver juvenile cases consist of the following court hearings:
Return filing hearing: This is when the district attorney files a delinquency petition or informs the judge that charges are being declined (thereby ending the case). The judge may also issue a mandatory protection order requiring your child to stay away from any witnesses or victims in the case.
Status hearings: These are periodic hearings where your child’s attorney and the district attorney update the judge on the status of the case, such as whether there has been a plea agreement.
Preliminary hearing: In more serious cases, a preliminary hearing is held for the judge to determine whether probable cause exists to continue prosecuting your child. It is like a mini-trial where witnesses can be called and evidence can be presented.
Pretrial hearings: This is an opportunity for the judge to decide on various legal issues (such as admissibility of evidence) if it looks like the case will be proceeding to trial.
Adjudicatory hearing: This is the trial. Your child can have a jury in more serious cases. Otherwise, the judge will decide the verdict. The prosecutor has the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sentencing hearing: If your child is adjudged delinquent or enters a plea, the judge will impose a sentence. You may speak during this hearing to ask the judge for leniency. The judge will also consider the recommendations of the Probation Department, which prepares a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) report for each child facing sentencing.
If you do not agree with the judge’s decisions, talk to your child’s attorney about filing an appeal or a motion for reconsideration.2
What can the judge sentence my child to?
Depending on the case, a Denver Juvenile Court judge may sentence minors adjudicated as delinquent to the following:
If the judge grants your child deferred adjudication, the entire case will be dismissed if your child completes all the terms of supervision (which may include any of the above sentencing terms). If your child violates the terms of supervision, they will be adjudged delinquent and sentenced accordingly.3
What are my responsibilities?
As your child’s parent and guardian, you are expected by Denver Juvenile Court to appear in court and help your child comply with the terms of probation. During court hearings, your child’s attorney sits in between you and your child.
If your child agrees to a plea, you must sign the paperwork. If your child is assigned to placement outside of your home, the court can also require you to pay for the costs (if you have the ability to).
The judge may order you to attend parental responsibility training. If you are the victim in your child’s case, the court will appoint a “guardian ad litem” to advocate for your child’s best interests in court.
Contact our Denver juvenile defense lawyers for legal advice.
Should I hire an attorney for my child?
Yes. Having a juvenile delinquency record can cause your child to be rejected from schools, jobs, and scholarship programs. An experienced Denver juvenile law attorney will fight to get the charges dismissed to safeguard your child’s long-term prospects.
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Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.