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What Charges Can Juveniles Face in MN? Criminal Defense, Juvenile Delinquency

What Charges Can Juveniles Face in MN?

2 years ago by Brian
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When a person under 18 years of age in Minnesota commits a criminal offense, they will face a juvenile delinquency case in which they are alleged to have broken a law.

Special court procedures exist completely separate from the traditional adult criminal process to deal with children who break the law.

Minnesota’s Juvenile Justice System generally focuses more on rehabilitating alleged offenders rather than punishing them.

But some children over 14 years of age who are accused of particularly dangerous offenses or have previously engaged in criminal conduct may be transferred to the adult court.

Any juvenile facing criminal charges of any kind should always be sure to hire an experienced Woodbury criminal defense Lawyer.


What are the categories of juvenile offenders?


Juveniles committing alleged criminal offenses are categorized based on the nature of the alleged conduct involved. The different classifications include:

  • Delinquents — This category applies to all people under 18 years of age who commit alleged offenses that would be unlawful if committed by an adult, except for certain designated offenses and all petty offenses as classified under Minnesota Statute § 260B.007

  • Petty offenders — Under subdivision 16 of Minnesota Statute § 260B.007, the phrase juvenile petty offense includes a juvenile alcohol offense, a juvenile controlled substance offense, a sale of tobacco to persons under age 21 offense, or a violation of a local ordinance.

A juvenile petty offense also includes an offense that would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult. 


  • Juvenile traffic offenders — A child who commits a major traffic offense will be adjudicated a juvenile highway traffic offender or a juvenile water traffic offender.


  • Juveniles certified to adult court — Juvenile courts may decide that children over 14 years of age who are accused of particularly dangerous alleged offenses or engaged in criminal conduct in the past should be handled in adult courts. Under state law, children under the age of 14 are considered legally incapable of committing crimes. 


  • Extended jurisdiction juveniles — Children 14 years of age or older who commit felony-level offenses and are subject to adult certification and who would be more aptly treated by the juvenile court are designated EJJs.


An EJJ designation will extend the time that a court has jurisdiction over a juvenile to age 21.

A conviction can result in both a juvenile court sentence and a stayed adult court sentence. If the juvenile then fails to satisfy the conditions of a juvenile court sentence, the adult court sentence could be imposed, and the juvenile may be sent to adult prison. 


  • Juveniles age 16 and older accused of first-degree murder — A child alleged to have committed first-degree murder after becoming 16 years of age could be charged and convicted in adult court without going through the juvenile court’s certification process and without regard to their previous criminal or juvenile record.

Juveniles in  Minnesota may Petition The Juvenile Court

They will not be adjudicated delinquent unless a petition is filed in the manner provided in Minnesota Statute § 260B.141.

A summons is issued, notice is given, a hearing is held, and the court finds that the alleged offender is also delinquent within the meaning and purpose of the laws relating to juvenile courts.

The juvenile court has original jurisdiction over all juveniles 15 years of age and under alleged to have committed any traffic offense and 16- and 17-year-olds alleged to have committed any major traffic offense.

Except that the adult court has original jurisdiction over petty traffic misdemeanors not a part of the same behavioral incident of a misdemeanor being handled in juvenile court. 

Driving while impaired (DWI) violations as well as any other misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor level traffic violations committed as part of the same incident as a DWI violation.


Possible Sentences For Juvenile Delinquents

In general, juveniles often face the following sentences for alleged offenses:

  1. Fines
  2. Community service
  3. House arrest or confinement
  4. Counseling
  5. Placement in a foster or group home
  6. Probation
  7. Placement in a juvenile detention facility
  8. Alternative schooling
  9. Electronic Monitoring
  10. Verbal warning


Speak with a Woodbury, MN Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer

If you or your child have been accused of juvenile delinquency near Woodbury Minnesota, you want to be sure that you have the best legal representation before you head to court.

JS Defense is committed to helping alleged juvenile offenders achieve the most favorable possible outcomes for their cases and carry the fewest long-term consequences, Call us now: (651) 362-9426 or contact us online today.

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