Juvenile District Court
Courtroom 4B - (970) 498-7220
The Juvenile District Court Division handles the prosecution of offenders who are under the age of 18 who have been charged with committing an misdemeanor or felony offense. Juveniles receiving traffic offenses are heard in County Court. Juvenile cases are typically prosecuted in a District Court Magistrates court in Fort Collins; however, any District Court Judge has the authority to handle a juvenile case as well. If a juvenile has committed a violent offense and is at least 14 years of age, the child may be charged as an adult. The juvenile division also oversees a juvenile diversion program that works with many first time juvenile offenders. The diversion program utilizes education, community and family services to divert the juvenile offenders from the criminal justice system.
Juvenile Process Flowchart
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to appear in court with my child?
Yes. If the child is under the age of 18, they must have a parent or guardian accompany them to court.
- Can my child be charged with a crime without law enforcement notifying me first?
Yes. If the juvenile is being charged with a felony, the officer will bring the reports to the District Attorney's Office for review and the Deputy District Attorney will decide what charges are appropriate. A letter is then sent to the juvenile and parents with notification of the court date. If the charge is a misdemeanor, the officer will write a juvenile a summons (ticket) and the court date will be on that document.
- How do I get a public defender?
You may call their office at 970-493-1212 and press 0 to ask for assistance or you may go to their office at 1 Old Town Square, Suite 201, Fort Collins CO 80524 and fill out an application.
- Can law enforcement talk to my child without a parent present?
Yes. However, if the juvenile is in custody, and the officer wants to ask them questions about their involvment in a crime, a parent must be present.
- What does Joint and Several restitution mean?
If there is more than one juvenile charged with a crime, the court can order all of the participants to pay the full amount of restitution. Once the full amount has been received by the court, they will no longer accept payments. This ensures that if one defendant does not pay, the victim will still be fully reimbursed.
- How soon can I get my juvenile record expunged?
- Finding of not guilty at adjudicatory trial
One year from:
- Date of law enforcement contact
- Completion of juvenile diversion
Four years from:
- Termination of court's jurisdiction
- Release from commitment
- Release from parole
- For repeat or mandatory sentence offenders
- Aggravated Juvenile Offender
- Crime of Violence
- Case direct filed as adult
- Adjudication for unlawful sexual behavior
- How do I become emancipated?
There is no formal emancipation process in Colorado. To be emancipated, the juvenile must be at least 16 years of age and independent in matters of care, custody, and earnings, or be married or in the military. If this can be clearly shown, a juvenile may then be considered emancipated. There is no formal procedure necessary to become emancipated. Emancipation is a status that a person finds himself in rather than a legal process that "emancipates." If a parent signs an affidavit stating that you are considered emancipated it may help to prove your status but is not necessarily the only thing the courts would look at if your emancipation is challenged.
- Does my juvenile record go away when I turn 18?
No. Anything on your record will remain there unless you are eligible for expungement, and go through the formal expungement process.
- Can I get a copy of a police report on a juvenile case?
A juvenile who is charged with a crime, or his parent or guardian, is entitled to all police reports pertaining to that case. Victims can have limited access subject to the discretion of the Deputy District Attorney. Police reports involving juveniles are not available to the general public.
- How can I get the police reports pertaining to my court case?
Please see the Discovery link
on our web page for information regarding Discovery
- I want to voice a concern about how my case is being handled by the Deputy District Attorney assigned to my case. To whom can I speak?
If you have a concern about how your case is proceeding, you may contact us using the following link Send an email
. If you are represented by an attorney, we are prohibited from discussing your case with you. You will need to address these concerns with your attorney.
- What is drug court?
Drug Court is an alternative to the regular docket in both adult and juvenile court. Offenders who have committed non-violent crimes relating to drug abuse and addiction problems are eligible for this program. Drug Court utilizes the focused involvement of the Court, probation, treatment providers, and others involved in the criminal justice system to increase direct supervision of offenders, coordinate public resources, and expedite case processing. Through Drug Court, offenders are given the tools and support to make positive changes in their lives and break the cycle of alcohol and drug use, criminal behavior, and incarceration.