H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Colorado Juvenile Court System – The Defense Of A Child Means Listening

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Juvenile Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer

Colorado Juvenile Court System – The Defense Of A Child Means Listening

After more than 30 years in the Criminal Courts of Colorado, I have learned a great deal about my youngest clients – juveniles charged with adult crimes.

Some Lessons about Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense:

● Never label a kid – never rush to judgment about what type of person they are.

● As a criminal defense lawyer always take the time to sit down and talk with your child client without the parents or guardian present. Give you client a chance to “open up.”

● Do NOT treat your clients as if they are future felons. Treat them as they are – kids in trouble. Don’t let your client’s think ever think they will be failures as adults because of their case.

● Force the DA, the Judge, and the Court personnel to listen to you about your client.

● Don’t assume your young clients are lying. Don’t assume anything!

● Juveniles are not adults. Pre-judgment and stereotyping is common with kids in trouble with the law – labeling theory is a common theme in juvenile criminological research. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy – treating juveniles as failures actually exacerbates and sometimes accelerates their own personal alienation causing the effect you expected in the first instance.

● Force the courts to see your juvenile client as more than a piece of paper or a criminal charge. The stake holders in the juvenile justice system have their own agenda – which tends to minimize youths’ voices and is “rooted in a reality devoid of particular details that do not fit well with decision-makers’ own lives and experiences.”

● Children need to believe that you believe in them…. that somebody cares about them.

● Set a reasonable standard for your client. Be a role model – a positive influence.  Show these children respect and give them hope.

● Look at the influences in their lives. Are they being forced by peer pressure or school bullying to act the way they have acted?

● Don’t be afraid to hug them .. I am over 6 foot 1″ and almost 285 pounds – believe me – they need a hug.

Good Luck. H. Michael Steinberg