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What Is Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction? Criminal Defense, Juvenile Delinquency

What Is Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction?

10 months ago by Brian
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In the simplest terms, extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ) allows the Minnesota juvenile court to address the juvenile cases of serious offenders – delinquents who are at least 14 years old and are eligible for transfer to the adult corrections system.


For instance, imagine Todd was just 16 years old when he stole a car – taking it for a joyride. Because he lacked experience as a driver, he ended up crashing the car into a guardrail. Miraculously, he wasn’t hurt badly, but the car ended up being totaled. 


When the police arrived on the scene, Todd was arrested and charged with vandalism and grand theft auto (GTA). GTA is a felony charge in Minnesota. Todd had a prior conviction, so this latest incident was considered for transfer into the adult corrections system.


To better understand how an extended EJJ works then, you have to know more about the rules covering juveniles who are certified to an adult court after an arrest. Below is some general information, but if you or your child faces criminal allegations, you need to discuss them with a criminal defense lawyer in Woodbury, MN, as soon as possible.


Certification to an Adult Court

In some cases, the juvenile court may decide that an offender who is 14 to 17 years old, who is accused of a felony, or has had a prior arrest, might be handled more proficiently in an adult court. (Under Minnesota law, offenders under 14 years old are deemed incapable of committing crimes).


Therefore, the court may certify certain delinquents to an adult court if the prosecutor can show probable cause that the juvenile committed a felony. If that happens, the juvenile is no longer treated as a juvenile but as an adult in the court.


Showing the Burden of Proof

Under the law’s presumption, certain juvenile defendants are certified to an adult court for criminal prosecution. However, they may be eligible for EJJ sentencing if the juvenile was 14 to 17 years old when they committed the alleged offense and a certification hearing was held with the court and/or the prosecutor recommended EJJ.


EJJ may also be considered if:


  1. The defendant was 16 or 17 years old when they committed a felony, and the court found probable cause to believe the juvenile offender committed a crime that would result in a presumptive prison sentence under the guidelines for sentencing and the applicable statutes (usually violent or serious repeat offenses); or
  2. The crime was committed while using a firearm. 


A juvenile defendant in the above situations has the burden of proof to disprove the foregoing presumption. Again, they must also show clear and convincing evidence that keeping the case in the juvenile court still serves public safety. If the presumption is not rebutted, the court will certify the case to the adult court for review.


Extended Jurisdiction Juvenile (EJJ) Defendants

Therefore, a juvenile defendant who is at least 14 years old, who commits a felony, and who is subject to adult certification is given an EJJ designation if the prosecutor believes the offender should stay in the juvenile court system.


An EJJ designation extends the time the court presides over a juvenile’s case (to age 21). The conviction then remains in the juvenile court, with sentencing stayed in the adult court. 

If the juvenile does not meet the conditions of the juvenile court sentence, their adult court sentence may be imposed, leading to adult prison time.


A juvenile who is given an EJJ designation has the right to a jury trial in the juvenile court and assistance from legal counsel.


The 3 Key Benefits of EJJ Sentencing

There are three key benefits associated with implementing an EJJ system for sentencing for more serious juvenile offenses:



The focus on rehabilitation within EJJ promotes better long-term outcomes for young offenders. By addressing underlying issues and providing support services, young people are more likely to successfully reintegrate into society. This reduces the likelihood of re-offending.



EJJ holds young offenders accountable for their actions through punitive measures and mandated rehabilitation. This balanced approach encourages personal responsibility and growth.




EJJ sentencing allows judges to tailor sentences to individual circumstances, ensuring a balance between punishment and the potential for rehabilitation.


Contact a Juvenile Delinquency Defense Attorney Now


If your child has been arrested for a crime, do you know who to call? Near Woodbury-St.Paul Minnesota, contact an experienced juvenile delinquency defense attorney by calling JS Defense, PA, right away. Schedule a consultation immediately.


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