Everyone makes mistakes—especially young people. Children and teenagers involved in criminal activity are susceptible to long-lasting penalties that could impact the rest of their lives. A Minnesota juvenile defense attorney can provide emotional support to a juvenile and their family and make sure the potential penalties don’t damage the child’s future.
Common Juvenile Crimes in Minnesota
Minnesota law defines a juvenile as a person between the ages of 10 and 17. When an underage person commits a crime, the laws and consequences are different than they are for adult criminals. For example, juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial or bail release.
Some of the most common juvenile crimes in Minnesota are:
- Alcohol Violations Involving Minors
- Drunk driving
- Speeding, reckless driving, and texting while driving
- Grand theft auto
- Employee theft
- Drug possession
- Obstruction of justice
- Disturbing the peace
Juvenile crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crimes. In the most serious cases, the juvenile offender can be charged and punished as an adult.
Many children don’t deserve harsh sentences because they are often unaware of the consequences of their actions. Common punishments for juvenile offenders include counseling and detention in a youth facility or juvenile hall. Having a criminal attorney to fight against the prosecution and keep the charges to a minimum is a must.
Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ)
Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ for short) is a program aimed at helping juveniles who commit particularly serious crimes to return to law-abiding behavior. According to EJJ law, Minnesota courts are permitted to issue a juvenile offender a dual sentence, with both juvenile and adult sanctions. A juvenile offender must be at least 14-years-old to be placed on EJJ, and Convicted offenders remain under EJJ supervision until they turn 21.
Common crimes that may lead to EJJ supervision include:
The offender’s age, criminal history, and the circumstances surrounding the crime determine an EJJ sentence. When EJJ is designated, an adult sentence is issued (but stayed) and the juvenile is placed on certain conditions of probation. EJJ offenders are regularly supervised by probation officers and community specialists through electronic monitoring and home visits.
EJJ offenders are required to adhere to certain probationary expectations, such as:
- Successfully completing community-based treatment programs
- Attending weekly group sessions that teach the importance of education and accountability
- Remaining in school and studying to earn a high school diploma or GED
- Maintaining employment
Minnesota Juvenile Crimes Lawyers
When a child is placed on EJJ, it means the state is extremely concerned about that child becoming a life-long criminal. EJJ stipulations are often quite harsh and can negatively impact a child’s future. A Minnesota juvenile defense attorney can ensure that a juvenile’s rights are not violated, and that they receive the support they need to grow.