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A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney

A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids

A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids

A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids – A major difference between the adult and juvenile justice systems is that in the juvenile system the goal is not to punish but to identify and rehabilitate before it is too late to help them.

To that end – research has identified certain risk factors in young people that explain why they do what they sometimes do. This article is a brief summary of those risk factors – which by the way can be used by criminal defense lawyers to represent your people who find themselves charged with serious crimes when they are just children.

What Are “Risk Factors”

Put simply, the existence of risk factors increase the likelihood that a young person will commit a crime. They are not necessarily the direct cause of juvenile crime but rather contribute to the commission of those crimes.

Risk factors are defined as:

“those characteristics, variables, or hazards that, if present for a given individual, make it more likely that this individual, rather than someone selected from the general population, will develop a disorder”

Risk factors fit into three general categories:

  • Individual risk factors,
  • Social risk factors, and
  • Community risk factors.

There is then a further breakdown of these categores into sub-categories such as under social risk factors you would find family- and peer-related risk factors.

It is not news that the individual psychological, behavioral, and mental characteristics of a juvenile can be linked to delinquency. The goal of this research is to help identify for the prosecutors and judges in the system – the reasons why the crime happened and to reason backward from the decision to commit the crime in question.

Asking The Right Questions To Help The Juvenile Court Judge And DA To Know Your Client

When defending a young person in the Colorado Juvenile Court understanding exactly who your client is – this young person charged with a serious crime – is critical.

I start with asking myself as many relevant questions as I can – and then finding the answers to the questions in my investigation of the case.

What follows are some of those questions:

Who Is This Young Person?

  1. Does this young person have a history of violent victimization or involvement?
  2. Does this young person have poor behavior control?
  3. Does this young person have deficits in social cognitive or information- processing abilities?
  4. Does this young person have high emotional distress?
  5. Does this young person have a history of treatment for emotional problems?
  6. Does this young person have antisocial beliefs and attitudes?
  7. Has this young person had exposure to violence and conflict in the family?


Peer Interactions

  1. Does this young person associate with delinquent peers?
  2. Does this young person have involvement in gangs?
  3. Is he rejected by his peers? Does he fell isolated?
  4. What is his academic performance? Is there failure in school?

The Reverse Side Of Risk Factors – The Protective Factors

A “protective factor” is a positive “buffer” between the existence of risk factors and the possibility of delinquent acts.

“Protective factors are those factors that mediate or moderate the effect of exposure to risk factors, resulting in reduced incidence of problem behavior.”

The idea behind identifying a child’s protective factors is to convince the Court system than this child has a chance to succeed in life and should be given every opportunity to realize that potential.

Example – Some Family Protective Factors

Examples of some family protective factors include:

  1. Does this young person have the ability to discuss problems with his or her parents?
  2. Does this young person have real and provable parental expectations about success in school?
  3. Are there frequent shared activities with his or her parents?
  4. Does this young person have a consistent presence of at least one parent:
        when awakening
        when arriving home from school,
        at the evening mealtime, and
        when going to bed?

Mental Disorders May Enter Into The Defense Analysis Of This Juvenile’s Case ?

Known as “conduct disorders” many juveniles may suffer from conditions that – left untreated may impact or compel the commission of criminal acts.

A criminal defense lawyer – attempting to determine if there is a possible conduct disorder -will look for symptoms of that disorder such as:

  1. Does this young person regularly exhibit aggressive behavior that harms or threatens other people?
  2. Does this young person regularly exhibit destructive behavior that damages or destroys property?
  3. Does this young person regularly lie or steal?
  4. Does this young person regularly skip school or commit other serious violations of school rules?
  5. Is there evidence of early alcohol use, and substance use, or other kinds of self abuse?

“Oppositional defiant disorder” is a possible precursor to conduct disorder and may be present if there are signs of being hostile and defiant for at least 6 months. It is a dangerous situation if it exists as it not only involves higher rates of depression but may also include suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

Summary and Conclusion – A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids

It is clear to me after 35 plus years that the Colorado Juvenile Justice System is a very poor parent but have been charged with the responsibility of rehabilitating children. Modern juvenile courts face enormous hurdles delivering on the promise of rehabilitation in Colorado’s very traditional juvenile justice system. There are times when the Colorado Juvenile Justice System is practically indistinguishable from the adult system.

Understanding the causes of delinquency and the results of those causes means a recognition that there is no single path to delinquency. Further, recognizing the risk factors discussed in this brief article helps the criminal defense lawyer to understand why something happened and to persuade the authorities to try to attempt to understand the young person standing in front of them

A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids

If you found any of the information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the Share buttons for Twitter and Facebook below so that others may also find it.

The reader is admonished that Colorado criminal law, like criminal law in every state and at the Federal level, changes constantly. The article appearing above was accurate at the time it was drafted but it cannot account for changes occurring after it was uploaded.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael will be at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case. H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – please call 720-220-2277.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer. We encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents “At Risk” Kids.

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A Colorado Juvenile Criminal Lawyer Often Represents
Description
A major difference between the adult and juvenile justice systems is that in the juvenile system the goal is not to punish but to identify and rehabilitate before it is too late to help them.
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If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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