Free Consultation 970-485-2261

The Most Common Juvenile Crimes in Colorado

Posted on June 28, 2024

Juvenile crime is a significant concern in Colorado, impacting not only the lives of the young offenders but also their families and broader society. According to recent data, there has been a significant increase in violent offenses being committed. 

Common Types of Juvenile Offenses

The most prevalent type of offenses committed by juveniles in Colorado fall under the category of person-related crimes, accounting for 62.2% of all offenses. These include: serious violent crimes such as: 

  • Homicide: The unlawful killing of another person, including murder and manslaughter.
  • Assault: Physical attacks or threats of violence, ranging from minor to severe injuries.
  • Robbery: Taking property from someone using force or intimidation.
  • Sexual Assault: Non-consensual sexual acts, including rape and molestation.

Property crimes make up 16.8% of the offenses. These include:

  • Theft: Taking another person’s property without permission, intending to permanently deprive them of it.
  • Burglary: Illegally entering a building with the intent to commit a crime, typically theft.
  • Vandalism: Willful destruction or damage to property, such as graffiti or breaking windows.
  • Arson: Deliberately setting fire to property.

Weapon-related offenses constitute 15.1%, which involve the use, possession, or trafficking of firearms and other dangerous weapons. While other offenses and drug-related crimes account for 4.7% and 1.2%, respectively.

Rising Trends in Violent Crimes

One of the most alarming trends is the increase in homicides and manslaughter committed by juveniles. On an average day in 2023, nearly 50 juveniles were detained for these charges, up from 15 in 2017. 

Assault and robbery also remain significant concerns, contributing to the high percentage of person-related offenses. These crimes often involve physical violence and intimidation, posing serious threats to community safety and well-being.

Are Juveniles Eligible for Alternative Sentencing in Colorado?

Juveniles in Colorado are eligible for alternative sentencing options, which aim to rehabilitate rather than punish young offenders. These alternatives can include diversion programs, probation, community service, restorative justice programs, and participation in counseling or educational programs. The goal is to address the underlying issues contributing to the criminal behavior, such as substance abuse, mental health problems, or family issues, and to provide them with the skills and support needed to avoid future offenses. The specific options available depend on the nature of the crime and the individual circumstances of the juvenile.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

A skilled Breckenridge juvenile criminal defense lawyer can play a crucial role in helping juveniles navigate the legal system and minimize the impact of criminal charges. Here’s how they can assist:

Legal Representation and Advocacy

Defense lawyers provide knowledgeable representation, ensuring that the juvenile’s rights are protected throughout the legal process. They advocate on their behalf in court, presenting evidence and arguments to achieve the best possible outcome.

Case Evaluation and Strategy

Lawyers thoroughly evaluate the case details, including evidence and witness statements, to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They develop a strategic defense tailored to the juvenile’s specific situation.

Negotiating Plea Deals

An experienced defense attorney can negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options. Plea deals might include probation, community service, or participation in rehabilitation programs instead of incarceration.

Alternative Sentencing 

Defense lawyers can advocate for alternative sentencing options that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Expungement Assistance

After the case is resolved, a lawyer can help with the expungement process to clear the juvenile’s record, which is crucial for their future opportunities in education and employment.

Support and Guidance

Throughout the legal process, a defense lawyer will provide support and guidance to the juvenile and their family, helping them understand the legal proceedings and potential outcomes.