As a parent, I understand just how important it is for kids to take responsibility for their actions. Holding your children accountable is usually a good thing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when it comes to sex crime cases in Denver, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County. Juvenile criminal law can be harsh, with long-term consequences for juvenile adjudications. And, legislation has made it hard for people who committed a crime in their teens to seal or expunge their record – even if they have gotten their life back on track. Let’s take a moment to look at what I mean.
Expungement: How Juvenile Criminal Records are Sealed or Expunged
Juvenile records are expunged, not sealed. An expert lawyer will be able to offer insight into your child’s case.
First, it’s important to understand that people under the age of 18 aren’t convicted of a crime, they are adjudicated. This means they will face less severe consequences, and will be treated in the criminal justice system as juveniles vs. adults. When a juvenile is adjudicated for a crime such as Public Indecency, (which isn’t a sex offense) they will have to wait 1 year after they have successfully completed probation in order to expunge their record. If a juvenile was adjudicated for a juvenile sex offense such as Unlawful Sexual Contact or Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification, they will only be able to seal their record if they received a deferred adjudication. If your child has been charged with a crime, it is important to consult a knowledgeable juvenile criminal defense attorney in Adams, El Paso, and Douglas County who can advise you as to the best step for your child’s future.
Bottom Line: Don’t Let Your Child Talk to the Police
Remaining silent will protect your child’s future – don’t let them talk to the police.
As parents, it’s easy to live by the rule that it’s important for our children to confess to their bad behavior. This is a good parenting practice, but you need to ignore it if your child has been charged with a crime. Confessing anything to the police can be devastating to your child’s future – this is especially true if they are not represented by a skilled criminal lawyer. Before law enforcement can talk to your child, they must first get parental consent. Ignore your parenting advice and don’t allow your child to speak with anyone about their case. Help your child exercise their right to remain silent – this will protect their future and is the best way to help your child. District Attorneys have the legal burden of proof. It can be difficult for them to even take a case to trial if there isn’t enough evidence. This is why they want to speak with your son or daughter – they want to gather evidence or get a confession to use against them at trial. Thus, there is no reason your child should speak with them. A confession or other admission of guilt is devastating and will greatly affect your child’s opportunity to work out a favorable plea agreement.
Your Child’s Future is at Stake in Denver and Across Colorado
If your child has been contacted by the police or charged with a crime, it is vital that you contact an aggressive juvenile crime defense lawyer to defend them in court. This is especially true when it comes to sex crimes, because adjudication would mean they wouldn’t be able to seal their record in the future. Don’t let your child spoil their future while they’re still young – protect their future by hiring an affordable lawyer who will stand by their side in the courtroom. Avoid long-term consequences of bad behavior, and get your child the help they really need, instead of simply damaging their future. Here at the O’Malley Law Office, we fight to win and we care about your teen.