House Bill 12-1271, signed into law earlier this year, could play a significant role in the case of Austin Sigg, who has been charged with the murder of Jessica Ridgeway. Sigg’s attorneys have already declared that they will be seeking to implement the reverse transfer procedure provided for by this bill.
What is a reverse transfer? Essentially, what a reverse transfer does is allow a juvenile who has been directly filed into adult court to petition to have his case transferred back to juvenile court. After a juvenile has been directly filed into the adult court system, the juvenile may file a motion to have his case transferred back to juvenile court so long as he does so before his deadline to request a preliminary hearing. The court will set the reverse transfer hearing with the preliminary hearing. The district attorney may file a response to the juvenile;’s motion, and that response is due fourteen days before the reverse transfer hearing.
At the reverse transfer hearing, the court will determine whether the juvenile and the community would be better served by having the juvenile’s case in juvenile court. The court will examine several factors in making that determination – the seriousness of the alleged offense, whether the offense was violent or premeditated, whether the offense was against persons, the age of the juvenile and the maturity of the juvenile, the juvenile’s criminal history, and the mental status of the juvenile pursuant to any psychological assessments or screening, the likelihood of the juvenile’s rehabilitation should only the sentencing options available to a juvenile court be used, the community’s interest in imposing a punishment equal to the crime, the impact of the crime on the victim, and whether the juvenile used or threatened to use a deadly weapon in committing the act.
In this case, many factors will weigh against Sigg in his attempt to have his case transferred to juvenile court – including, most significantly, the seriousness of the offense, the violence of the offense, and the community’s interest in imposing a punishment equal to the crime. If he were transferred back to juvenile court, his punishment would be significantly reduced. If adjudicated for his charged offenses, Sigg would be classified as an aggravated juvenile offender and would face only up to five years in the department of youth corrections.
If you are in Denver and are facing juvenile charges, contact the Law Offices of Kimberly Diego. Kimberly Diego is a highly accomplished Denver juvenile crimes lawyer, and she represents clients from all walks of life throughout the metro area – juveniles, adults, and clients accused of both felonies and misdemeanors. Contact Ms. Diego at 720.257.5346 (available 24-7) to schedule a free consultation to review the nature of your case or visit her website at www.diegocriminaldefense.com.