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Addressing Juvenile Offenses – Guidance Through the Legal Process

Navigating Juvenile Court with The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq.

The realm of juvenile justice encompasses the tailored procedures states have established to adjudicate cases involving youth—typically referred to as "juveniles" or "minors"—facing criminal allegations. At The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq., we understand the complexities of juvenile court and stand ready to assist young individuals and their families through this distinct legal landscape.

Eligibility for Juvenile Court

The juvenile court's jurisdiction does not have a universally fixed age for accountability; it varies. Typically, children under the age of seven are seen as too immature to be held responsible, whereas those 14 and older may be answerable for their actions in either juvenile or adult court. Those between the ages of seven and 14 are assessed differently, with the burden on the prosecution to prove the juvenile's cognitive ability to form a culpable mind and thus stand trial within the juvenile system.

Disparate perspectives prevail on how to approach juvenile offenders, with variations seen from state law to individual law enforcement practices. At The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq., our goal is to provide clarity and support at every step.

Interactions with Law Enforcement

Upon suspecting that a minor has engaged in criminal activity, law enforcement officials have several options:

  • Issue a warning and release the minor.
  • Issue a warning and detain the minor until a parent or guardian arrives.
  • Take the minor into custody and recommend that the case be forwarded to the juvenile court.
Determining the Course of Action

When a case gets directed to juvenile court, a prosecutor or juvenile court intake officer (commonly a probation officer) will decide the next steps, which may include dismissing the case, handling it informally without filing formal charges, or initiating formal proceedings through a "petition."

Handling of Informal Cases

If the decision is made to handle the matter informally, the minor will likely encounter a disciplinary meeting with a probation officer or judge, which may result in counseling, educational programs, restitution, fines, community service, or probation. Should there be suspicion of abuse or neglect, proceedings to modify the custodial situation may also be initiated.

Formal Charging Process

Should the matter escalate to formal charges, the juvenile will be arraigned and the case is added to the court's calendar. Subsequent steps typically involve:

  • A fitness hearing to determine whether to try the juvenile as a minor or as an adult.
  • Plea bargaining or adjudication (similar to a trial).
  • If responsible for the charges, the minor receives a disposition (sentence).
  • Post-disposition hearings to monitor compliance with court orders.
Factors Influencing the Avoidance of Formal Charges

When intake officers decide on whether to press formal charges, they contemplate various factors, official and unofficial:

  • Severity of the offense
  • Age of the minor
  • Juvenile's past court interactions
  • Strength of evidence
  • Gender of the juvenile
  • Minor's social history
  • Parental or guardian control over the minor

Subjective considerations may also influence these decisions, including the minor's demeanor, appearance, family and community support, legal representation, and often less-discussed aspects such as ethnicity and socio-economic background.

At The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq., we are dedicated to providing minors with a strong defense and navigating these often-subjective factors to pursue the best outcome. We believe in the potential for rehabilitation and champion for the rights of the youth in the face of the judicial system.

For legal assistance with juvenile cases, contact The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq. at 303-355-5148. We are prepared to advocate for the best interests of your child with experience, empathy, and understanding.

Client Reviews
"An excellent lawyer choice for my son who was charged with driving while his license was revoked. DMV had mistakenly sent (3) letters of revocation to the incorrect address, so I hired Monty to prove that my son never knew his license was revoked. Monty kept me informed at all times as to what was happening and what he doing to prove my son's innocence in this matter. We were to appear in court on 29 March 2012 and Monte informed us on 27 March 2012, that the case had been dismissed!!! Monte charged a fair, flat rate for what he did in this matter and should the need arise to hire a lawyer or to recommend a lawyer, I would not hesitate to give Monte's name.” Linda
"I consulted three other attorneys on my traffic offense in Colorado and none of them thought I could beat it. Then I consulted with Monte Robbins. He not only relieved my warrant without my presence in Colorado, but he got my habitual driving offense reduced to an infraction. I was up against the wall on this case but thanks to Monte miracles are possible. I have hired my share of attorneys and Monte Robbins has produced the best results for me yet. After being without my driving privileges for ten years I paid a small fine and am legal with a clean record. I Highly recommend this attorney." Steve
"I hired Monte J. Robbins to represent me. He gave 110% to my case never rushed me off the phone, quick to gather all information regarding my case. Monte is very knowledgeable and helped me out a lot. He kept me informed every step of the way through my case. I was always able to get a hold of him for any questions i had. The outcome of my case was way better then i had expected. Monte did a excellent job on my case and I would highly recommend him to anyone. Monte won my case and I am confident that he can do the same for anyone else." Jeremy