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Reviews & Ratings

  • 5.0/5.0

    Working with Valerie was great. She was very knowledgeable about the laws surrounding my case and extremely professional. She made the process manageable and was very trustworthy.

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    We worked with Valerie Cole and she was exceptional. She has a unique way as an attorney of being thoughtful, and yet very direct and to the point. She doesn't swing up and down, always calm and professional. She sees the big picture and it...
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    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Hillary C. Aizenman is an awesome attorney. She always returned my calls and emails quickly. Her wages were clear from the beginning and she is very honest and has integrity. She got good results for me!

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    I need an attorney really bad, so I called Polansky Law Firm not only did I win my case. But she explained the court procedure to me step-by-step I am so happy I picked this Law Firm. Thank you Cayce

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Lisa Polansky is a terrific criminal defense attorney who brings great knowledge and experience to the job as a result of handling countless, difficult cases, both in California and in Colorado. As a Colorado lawyer, I know that Lisa is hi...
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    — Peer

In Colorado, a juvenile is any person under the age of 18 years. For many types of crimes, minors are subject to the jurisdiction of the state juvenile courts. However, juveniles charged with very serious, violent crimes can be sent to the regular district court where they face the same potential punishments of those over the age of 18.

There are several factors considered when determining whether someone who is legally still a child should be tried as if he or she were an adult, and they include:

  • Age — By law, a minor as young as 12 can be charged as an adult. The closer the child is to reaching 18 years, the greater the chance of facing adult criminal liability. The age factor takes into account that younger children generally have less intelligence and emotional maturity than older children and adults.
  • Type of offense — The state has an interest in segregating dangerous criminals from the rest of society. Some children can, and do, commit serious acts of violence. Charging dangerous children as adults can, if they are convicted, enhance public safety by getting them off of the streets. In addition, an adult sentence might be sufficient motivation for a juvenile offender to change their behavior.
  • Criminal history — Some people commit a crime because of a temporary lapse in judgement or moment of indiscretion while others, despite facing negative consequences, engage in a pattern of criminal behavior that is unlikely to stop. Some of these people with clear criminal tendencies are minors who would continue to re-offend without state intervention. The more extensive a juvenile’s criminal record, the more likely she or he will be tried as an adult.
  • Prosecutorial/judicial discretion — Colorado is one of the few states that allows for “direct filing,” which gives the prosecuting attorney sole discretion on charging certain minors as adults. The prosecutor may invoke direct file against a minor who was 16 years or older at the time of the alleged crime. Only certain kinds of violent felonies are eligible for direct file in Colorado. The prosecutor’s decision to direct file a case is not reviewable by the court and cannot be appealed. A juvenile court judge also has the authority to transfer a case involving a minor as young as 12 to adult court in certain circumstances.

The Boulder based Polansky Law Firm is a full service criminal defense law firm defending juveniles who are being charged as adults. We have the knowledge, skill and experience to obtain the best possible result for our clients. If you or a family member are facing either state or federal criminal charges, feel free to contact us or call 303-415-2583 for an initial consultation.