Colorado Juvenile Arrests
By Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg
A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer can assist a juvenile when the he is arrested in Colorado. It is a good strategy to have a lawyer on the case at the inception. This compehensive article address that attormey client relatonship.
Representation of a Colorado Juvenile at the Time of Arrest
A juvenile defense lawyer’s advice to and representation of the juvenile early on in his case can have a significant impact on how the case proceeds.
There are two typical scenarios in which the lawyer learns about an arrest early enough to get involved: 1) the juvenile calls his parents and tells them that the police are looking for him, or 2) he calls the lawyer directly from the police station.
If the Police Are Looking for the Juvenile – Surrender Issues – The Initial Interview of a Juvenile Wanted by the Police
When the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer speaks to the juvenile, the lawyer should accomplish the following:
• Determine if the juvenile is safe right now or if someone is going to hurt or harm him.
• Review the attorney-client privilege and reassure the juvenile.
• If the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer is talking over the phone, confirm that he is in a place where he can talk privately. If not, the lawyer should adjust the questions so he is not answering in a way that could be harmful to his case.
• The lawyer should learn why the juvenile believes he is wanted by the police, what the juvenile knows about the nature of the charges, and what he knows about the events underlying the charges.
• The lawyer should determine if the juvenile thinks he will be found and arrested before the lawyer will have a chance to discuss the possibility of a voluntary surrender with the police. The lawyer should discuss whether the juvenile will voluntarily surrender – of course the parents should be consulted on all issues.
• The lawyer should ask the juvenile about information relevant to pre-adjudication detention, such as his prior criminal record, willingness of his parent or other relative to accept custody pending adjudication, and, if applicable, sources and available amount of bail.
• The lawyer should ask the juvenile for permission to contact the police to get more information.
• The lawyer should make sure the juvenile understands his rights and that he will assert his right to remain silent and have counsel present if arrested. The lawyer should remind the juvenile to say “I want my lawyer, and I want to call him now.”
• The lawyer should ask the juvenile if there is anything else the attorney should know about the incident or him circumstances.
Verifying the Existence of an Open Warrant
After the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer speaks to the juvenile, the lawyer will want to find out if the warrant he is worried about actually exists. There may be related information the defense lawyer can gather. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are different ways to conduct this research. The lawyer want to be efficient without jeopardizing the juvenile’s case.
Possible Sources of Information on the Warrant Include:
It is an option to call the police directly to inquire about a warrant. If the lawyer speaks with an officer or detective, he should be very careful not to divulge any incriminating information about the juvenile.
The Colorado Court Clerk
The juvenile criminal defense lawyer may be able to call the clerk of the jurisdiction’s court and inquire about the status of a case. That information should include any pending warrants.
The Colorado Court Computer System – http:www.cocourts.com
If the jurisdiction has shared computer access to case information, the lawyer may be able to quickly and easily find out about an open warrant without contacting anyone.
The Probation Officer
The juvenile’s probation officer was likely notified if the juvenile ran away from him placement or otherwise violated him probation requirements, so he can be a helpful contact in many situations. Again, the lawyer should be careful not to share information that could incriminate the juvenile.
The DA – Prosecutor
. Though probably not the best initial source of information, the prosecutor may be willing to discuss a stipulation of conditions for release or at least begin working toward an agreement for release, if necessary.
Helping the Juvenile and the Parents the Issue of a Voluntary Surrender
As an officer of the court, the juvenile criminal defense lawyer cannot actively advise a juvenile to disregard a court order, including an arrest warrant. However, if the defense lawyer believes in good faith that the warrant was issued in error, the lawyer may take steps to test its validity.
The defense lawyer should also confer with the juvenile regarding the advisability of surrender and the logistics of doing so.
There Are Several Reasons to Consider Voluntary Surrender
The following factors should be to considered:
• Reduction of the charges and/or a timetable or conditions of release (if the criminal defense lawyer have been able to negotiate them with the prosecutor).
• The juvenile will have a better chance of being released after arraignment. If he acts responsibly now, the juvenile criminal defense lawyer will be able to argue to the judge later that the child’s voluntary surrender demonstrates that he is unlikely to flee the jurisdiction pending adjudication.
Fugitive status is only likely to complicate the case when the juvenile is subsequently apprehended and practically guarantees that the child will be detained.
• By surrendering at a prearranged time and place, the juvenile can avoid public embarrassment and possible physical injury.
• By surrendering with the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer present as counsel, the lawyer and the juvenile can assert the juvenile’s constitutional rights and avoid custodial interrogation.
If there are unusual circumstances surrounding the warrant and/or the juvenile does not want to voluntarily surrender, the lawyer must defer to him the decision about how to proceed and advise him of the consequences.
The criminal defense lawyer’s duty is to protect the juvenile’s confidences – that means that the lawyer are not obligated to tell the court or police the juvenile’s whereabouts or if he has contacted the lawyer, unless he gives the lawyer permission to do so.
Arranging the Surrender of the Juvenile to Authorities
The lawyer should pick a time and a place agreeable to both the juvenile and the police. In most cases, even if the defense lawyer has an agreement with the police for voluntary surrender, they may still arrest the juvenile before the surrender. The juvenile could be stopped by an officer unaware of the surrender plans, or the police may choose to arrest him in an attempt to intimidate him.
The lawyer should advise the juvenile accordingly. The lawyer should accompany the juvenile to the police station. Even if the police have promised not to interrogate the juvenile, the lawyer should make sure that he understands him rights and plans to not talk to the police without consulting with the lawyer first.
Police Station Representation By The Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer
If the juvenile is in police custody, the lawyer will want to take the following steps to prevent him from facing time in detention and from inadvertently making things more difficult for the lawyer as him case continues.
The lawyer can try calling the prosecutor or his supervisor to seek their assistance in getting to the juvenile (and putting the State on notice that any statements taken after the lawyer’s previous call to the police will be inadmissible).
The Lawyer Should Have a Conversation with the Juvenile
Once on the phone, the lawyer will ask him questions and give him advice. The lawyer will encourage him to politely ask for privacy while he is talking to his defense lawyer, but regardless, the lawyer will avoid any substantive discussion of the incident because of the danger of eavesdropping. The lawyer can explain to the juvenile that the lawyer wants to hear about what happened, but it isn’t a good idea to talk about it just yet.
– The lawyer should secure the juvenile’s and the parent’s permission to represent him.
Assertion of Juvenile’s Constitutionl Rights
-The lawyer should advise the juvenile to assert his constitutional rights to the police. Tell the juvenile to notify a police officer (while the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer are still on the phone to hear) that he does not want to talk to any police officers or prosecutors without him attorney. The lawyer should also say that all future communications with him should first go through the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer and the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer alone.
Some Sample Information For the Juvenile:
“Say nothing to the police. Tell them nothing at all. Don’t answer any questions from the police until the you and I have had a chance to talk privately.”
“If the police try to question you or talk to you about anything, tell them your lawyer told you not to talk.”
If they say anything about having evidence against you or if they tell you what the evidence is or if they bring in someone else who says something against you, then they are just trying to get the you to talk.
Don’t fall for it -If they promise to drop the charges after you confess or if they threaten to stick you with more charges if you do not talk, they’re just trying to trick you.
Don’t fall for any of their tricks – – Whatever they say, tell them your defense lawyer told you not to talk and that you refuse to talk.
Sometimes, the police tell arrested kids that their lawyers don’t know anything and that only the police know what’s good for the kid. That’s just another police trick. They’re trying to get the juvenile to say something so that they can try to get the judge to hold the juvenile in custody for a long time.
• Caution Snitches Everywhere – Lack of Confidentiality -The lawyer should warn the juvenile not to speak about his case with cell mates, co-respondents or even family members and friends at this time. The lawyer will explain that a large number of co-respondents end up testifying against their close friends to save themselves. The lawyer will also explain that the police may eavesdrop on visits or telephone conversations and that what he tells family and friends is not confidential, and they can be forced to testify against him in court.
• Injuries – The lawyer should ask the juvenile if he is injured or requires any medical attention and if the police have mistreated him in any way. If the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer juvenile complains of being injured the injury should be documented.
Identification Procedures – Line Ups Etc.
The lawyer should tell the juvenile that if the police want him to participate in a line-up or other identification procedure, he should politely refuse. He should say that he wants him lawyer present and that the police should either contact him lawyer or allow him to defense lawyer. If the police proceed over the juvenile’s objection, advise him to cooperate physically and then to write down as much as possible about the people in the line-up and how it was staged.
Searches In Juvenile Criminal Cases
If the police ask the juvenile for permission to search him home without a warrant or ask the juvenile to lead the police anywhere or show them anything, he should always say, “I’m sorry, but my lawyer told me to say ‘no.’” If anyone attempts to inspect or examine the juvenile’s body or take any physical samples, he should say, “I’m sorry, my lawyer told me to tell you to wait until he/she gets home” but he should not physically resist or refuse if the police insist on taking the samples anyway.
The lawyer should advise the juvenile in accord with state laws on breath-sobriety tests if his refusal can result in penalties regardless of guilt in an underlying DUI charge.
The lawyer should ask the juvenile what the police said they were charging him with and make sure to ask specifically if he has been informed of any charges at this point. Given the danger of police eavesdropping, the lawyer will make sure that the juvenile restricts his responses to only what the police told him, not what he is afraid of being charged with or what really happened.
The lawyer should ask the juvenile whether the police have contacted his parents or mentioned anything about releasing him to a parent or another relative.
If bail is applicable, the lawyer should ask the juvenile if the police have mentioned whether bail has been set. If it has, he should ask if he knows for what amount. The lawyer should have a conversation with the police officer who has the juvenile in custody.
In trying to get the juvenile on the phone, however, the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer may have an opportunity to talk to a police officer who has taken the juvenile into custody before custodial interrogation begins.
The lawyer will hopefully use this conversation to:
• Politely inform the officer that the lawyer represents the juvenile.
• In a cordial manner, the lawyer will find out as much information as the lawyer can about the case.
• the lawyer will bring up the possibility of the juvenile being released to his parent pending arraignment and express the parent’s concern about the juvenile and their great desire to have him at home. The defense lawyer should discuss any reasons to support the juvenile’s release, such as school tests, disabilities, responsibilities at home, diminutive size, juvenile’s age, etc.
• If applicable, the lawyer will inquire about bail or conditions of release and ask the officer whether bail has been set. If it has been set, the amount.
• The lawyer will find out the precise current location of the juvenile and whether he will be moved.
Protecting The Juvenile’s Rights
The lawyer will put the officer on notice that all further communication should be directed to the lawyer and not the juvenile and also inform the officer and/or the officer’s supervisor that:
1. The lawyer is asserting the juvenile’s right to remain silent and if the lawyer is going to the police station, ask that no interrogation take place until the lawyer arrives at the police station and has an opportunity to consult further with the juvenile.
2. The juvenile refuses to consent to any searches or other police investigation.
3. The juvenile is asserting his right to have counsel present at a lineup or other investigative procedure.
4. The lawyer should formally request that the officer inform his colleagues and entire chain-of-command that the lawyer requests.
5. If the juvenile has requested or may need medical treatment, the officer take him to the hospital and also make sure to find out where the juvenile is being taken for medical treatment.
6. The lawyer should take down the officer’s name, rank, and badge number and then ask the officer where he will be in the next couple of hours and how the lawyer can contact him.
7. The lawyer should have a conversation with the juvenile’s parents.
After the defense lawyer has finished talking to the juvenile and the police on the phone, the lawyer will contact the juvenile’s parents and make sure not to release confidential information about the juvenile in the course of this phone conversation.
Interacting With The Juvenile’s Parents – Release Issues
The following list of suggested topics for interacting with the juvenile’s parent:
The lawyer should discuss the parent’s willingness to take custody of the juvenile upon release from the police station. If the parent refuses because he wants the juvenile to spend some time in detention, the lawyer should communicate quickly and clearly the danger that he may be physically, verbally, or psychologically abused while there and will likely foster negative peer associations if kept in detention for more than a brief time.
The lawyer should find out if there are any relatives or other adults in the juvenile’s life who the parent would be willing to allow to take custody.
The lawyer should, if the police have not agreed to release the juvenile, obtain useful social information from the parent, such as home behavior, school performance, past or present employment, and prior delinquency record and learn whether the juvenile is on probation or pending adjudication in another case, and try to find out other information concerning the juvenile’s ability to stay out of trouble, if released.
The lawyer should ask about any conversations the parent has had with the police, including what the parent has told police and any information he has learned about the case. This is a good time to discuss the potential impact of any negative information he provides to the police or the State.
The lawyer should explain that the lawyer is not asking him to lie, but to make informed decisions about what information he will share.
If possible, the lawyer should go to the police station where the juvenile is being held The lawyer’s presence at the police station ensures effective protection of the juvenile’s rights and sends a strong message to him about the level of commitment the lawyer has in his case.
The Interview of The Accused Juvenile
Once the lawyer has a chance to see the juvenile, the lawyer will reiterate the need for him to assert his constitutional rights to the police if he has not done so already.
The lawyer should ask the juvenile if he has made any written or oral statements or been subject to any identification or testing procedures. If yes, the lawyer should attempt to obtain all available information, including copies of any written statements or notes and again urge the juvenile to reassert his rights if the police try to get more information.
The lawyer should ask if the police plan on subjecting the juvenile to further identification, investigative procedures, or tests and request to be present at those proceedings.
The lawyer should, once the Colorado juvenile criminal defense lawyer has finished talking to the juvenile, ask the police about the juvenile’s release to his parent. If they are against release or have not yet decided, the lawyer should use the positive social information the lawyer obtained from his conversation with the parents to argue for his release.
If the police intend to keep the juvenile in custody:
The lawyer should tell the police in the juvenile’s presence that all questions concerning this case should be directed to the lawyer.
The lawyer should make sure the juvenile and the police have the lawyer’s contact information.
If you have questions about …
Colorado Juvenile Arrests
H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years. For the First 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.
In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations. Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2277.
If you have questions about Colorado Juvenile Arrests in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and will provide quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.. as regards Colorado Juvenile Arrests.