St. Paul Juvenile Crimes Attorney
There is no age limit when it comes to the law. Just because you are under the age of 18 does not automatically mean you can avoid being handcuffed at the scene of a crime. In fact, the state of Minnesota has an entirely different legal system dedicated to handling juvenile arrests and convictions. If you or your juvenile is facing any juvenile charge, petty or otherwise, it is important that you seek legal representation fast.
What Constitutes a Juvenile Offense?
A juvenile offense is any criminal offense that is performed by someone under the age of 18. For those younger than the age of ten, the arrest may be handled by the CHIPS service (children in need or protection or services). For those aged 10 to 18, you will most likely face a juvenile court of law to determine the best plan of action for punishment as well as correction.
Common juvenile offenses include, but are by no means limited to the following:
- Underage drinking and driving
- Speeding, reckless driving, talking on a phone while driving, driving without a license and other traffic violations
- Petty offenses such as underage drinking, underage smoking and violating curfew
- Possession of marijuana and other illegal substances
- Loitering with intent to prostitute or prostitution
- Theft, robbery and shoplifting offenses
How the Juvenile Court Works
While the traditional Minnesota court of law is put in place to penalize those that have broken the law, the juvenile courts are put into place to rehabilitate the defendants. The juvenile court system is considered a civil proceeding and is focused on correcting the youth’s behavior, not just punishing them. However, this does not mean you will only receive a slap on the wrist; the juvenile court system will serve a fair punishment on top of whatever corrective measures they see fit. The goal of the juvenile court system is ensure the youth accepts responsibility for his actions and to find a solution to the social problem of troubled youth before they become legal adults.
There are a number of different corrective measures used in juvenile cases. If found guilty of a juvenile offense, you could be faced with the following:
- House arrest and electronic monitoring
- Counseling, rehabilitation or anger management training in certain instances
- Driver’s education courses if your juvenile is facing a traffic offense such as a DUI
- Restitution to the victim
- Community service
- Loss of driver’s license and other privileges
- Out of home treatment or detention centr
What is at Stake?
If you are facing a juvenile conviction, one of the biggest goals is to ensure that this arrest does not make it to your permanent record. The reason is because a criminal conviction can negatively impact the rest of your life. Colleges, employers and landlords often perform background checks on any potential applicants and many will not look too fondly on a criminal conviction, even for something minor such a shoplifting.
If Your Child Has Been Arrested
Juvenile crimes are not only hard on the arrested youth – it can also negatively impact the parents or guardians of the child. You may feel shame or embarrassment that your son or daughter has been arrested or feel that all eyes are now on you as a parent. You may feel the need to justify their actions or you may get angry at the rumors that circle across town. It is important to maintain your cool and continue on with life as normally as possible. It is also important to remember that kids make mistakes – their arrest does not mean that you are a bad parent. It simply means that they made a mistake. The juvenile courts are put into place to ensure that these mistakes are corrected now before they can escalate into felony offenses later.
How We Can Help
Take the necessary steps to ensure that this one arrest does not stay with your forever by contacting a qualified Minnesota juvenile defense lawyer. Mohammad, Schiks and Jaafar, P.A. knows and understands the latest laws related to the juvenile court system.