On February 7, 2012, Rep. B.J. Nikkel and Sen. Angela Giron introduced HB 12-1271 – Concerning Charging of Juveniles by Direct File of Information or Indictment in District Court. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
On Friday, March 23 the CBA Legislative Policy Committee authorized the Juvenile Law Section to support the bill in the name of the Juvenile Law Section. Under current law, a juvenile charged with a specific serious crime can be prosecuted in district court under the district attorney’s authority to direct file certain juveniles. This bill amends the direct file statute to limit the offenses for which a juvenile may be subject to direct file to class 1 felonies, class 2 felonies, crime of violence felonies or sex offenses if the juvenile has a previous felony adjudication, and violent sex offenses. The bill limits direct file to juveniles age 16 or 17.
After a juvenile is charged in district court, the juvenile may petition the adult court for a reverse-transfer hearing to transfer the case to juvenile court. The juvenile must make the request at or before the time to request a preliminary hearing, and the court shall set the reverse-transfer hearing at the same time as the preliminary hearing. If after a reverse-transfer hearing, the court finds the juvenile and community would be better served by juvenile proceedings it shall order the case to juvenile court. If, after a preliminary hearing, the district court does not find probable cause for a direct-file-eligible offense, the court shall remand the case to the juvenile court.
Under the bill, a juvenile’s non-felony conviction must be remanded to juvenile court and, when a juvenile sentence is selected, the conviction converts to a juvenile adjudication.
The amended bill passed out of the House on bill on March 19; the bill is scheduled on the Judiciary Committee calendar for Monday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m.
Since this summary, the bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee unamended and was referred to the Senate Committee of the Whole.
Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.