Before April of this year, the Denver, Arapahoe, or Adams County District Attorney would see a juvenile case of Sexual Assault on a Child (CRS 18-3-405), Incest (CRS 18-6-302), or Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-6-403) and decide whether they were going to charge the defendant as an adult or continue in juvenile courts. This subjectivity brought serious charges against young people who made one mistake before their 18th birthday. A new law that has now taken effect in Douglas, Larimer, Jefferson, Weld County and all across the Front Range, changed the rules. Now, District Attorneys can no longer “directly file.” Prosecutors must now argue before a judge why the teen defendant should not be tried in juvenile court. This law was designed to protect all young offenders and help give teens and minor a second chance after they committed a crime in a Colorado city like Littleton, Aurora, or Lakewood.
This new law will get its first major test run as courtroom proceedings continue in the case of Austen Sigg, who was arrested for the kidnapping and murder or a young girl in Westminster. This young man is possibly facing a 1st degree murder charge, a crime that could have resulted in the death penalty if committed by an adult. Under Colorado law, juveniles will never receive the death penalty for any crime, even if they are tried as an adult. He could receive a life sentence, however, but there is some discrepancy as to what that actually means to a juvenile offender.
If your child is charged with Sexual Assault on a Child, Sexual Exploitation of a Child, or another sex crime, be smart, exercise their right to remain silent, and contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your child's future.