Are they under the age of 18? If so, the juvenile crime lawyers at Brandt Criminal Defense in the Minneapolis, MN Twin Cities metro area can help. We have handled all aspects of juvenile law and have over 30 years of experience handling juvenile cases.
Juvenile crime cases are considerably different from adult crime cases. The rules are different and certain rights of the child are different. If your child is facing these types of charges, you need an attorney that is experienced in handling juvenile crime cases. The team at Brandt Criminal Defense has secured dismissals, acquittals, and greatly reduced charges in every type of juvenile case.
Here are some facts about juvenile cases:
- They include any crime committed by a person while under the age of 18
- Prosecution takes place in the county where the crime occurred, but sentencing (or disposition) is held in the county where the child lives
- There are no juries for juvenile cases, if there is a trial, the judge determines guilt
- If a juvenile is found guilty they are not “convicted,” they are found to be delinquent
Some things to consider if the juvenile is found guilty (or found to be delinquent):
- Will their records be available to the public?
- Will this delinquency prevent them from finding a job or housing?
- Will this prevent them from owning a firearm?
Contrary to popular belief, juvenile crimes can and will show up on background checks. Most juvenile records are private, but if the charge is a felony and is committed by a child 16 or older, their records will be public and easy to find. These cases are not “sealed” when the child turns 18 and can have a devastating impact beyond the courts. These cases can affect employment, housing, and even college financial aid. If your child is facing charges in juvenile court, put our 30 years of experience to work for your child to protect their rights and their future.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 763-421-6366.
Juvenile Crime Information & Guides
An adjudication of delinquency can carry several consequences that can affect a juvenile offender for the rest of his or her life. There are several “collateral consequences” that can result from being prosecuted in the juvenile justice system. These are consequences that are not part of an actual sentence, rather, consequences that may be unforeseen at the time a juvenile is prosecuted but can come up later in life when the juvenile is seeking housing or employment.
Some of the major potential consequences to consider include:
- Whether records of the offense are available to the public;
- Whether a juvenile adjudication of delinquency can be used to increase penalties and possible sentences more serious for offenses later committed as an adult;
- Whether the juvenile offender will be prohibited from being licensed or working in fields that serve vulnerable populations by the Department of Human Services;
- Whether the juvenile offender will be subject to a lifetime prohibition on purchasing and possessing firearms; and
- Whether the juvenile offender will be forced to register as a predatory offender.
While most juvenile cases are not public record, be aware that if the juvenile offender is age 16 or 17 and commits a felony-level offense, the records of the offense are public and are easily accessed on the internet by future employers and any others with access to the internet. Most parents believe that offenses handled in juvenile court will not be on a juvenile’s record, however this is not always the case. For example, a juvenile age 16 who commits a property offense where the value of the property at issue is over $1,000 (i.e. theft of property, criminal damage to property), will have a public internet record of the juvenile court proceedings. This can seriously impact a young person’s future ability to find housing and employment.
Some juvenile adjudications of delinquency can be used to add criminal history points to an adult criminal offender’s criminal history score, thereby increasing the penalties and sentences for an offense committed as an adult.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services requires individuals who are seeking to work in fields that serve vulnerable populations (i.e. health care, child care, or elderly care) to be subject to a criminal background study. Several offenses can disqualify a person, even juvenile offenders, from working in various fields. For example, a misdemeanor theft offense (property stolen worth between $0-$500) can disqualify a person from working in these fields for a period of seven years after being discharged from probation. Various offenses subject persons to seven, ten, fifteen, and lifetime disqualifications. This can effectively limit the career choices for a young person at a time when that young person is just starting out in life.
A juvenile adjudicated delinquent of a crime of violence as defined in Minn. Stat. § 624.712 (not always an offense that involves actual violence!) is subject to a lifetime prohibition on the purchase and possession of firearms. This can even include non-violent offenses such as theft of a motor vehicle. Juveniles who enjoy hunting can prohibited from hunting for the rest of their lives.
Juvenile offenders who are adjudicated delinquent of an offense for which registration as a predatory offender is required (i.e. murder, kidnapping, rape and many sex offenses) will be forced to register as a predatory offender, often for a period of ten years.
Adjudication of Delinquency: The juvenile version of a conviction for a juvenile offense. Convictions refer to adult court offenses only. An adjudication of delinquency is not the same as a conviction.
Stay of Adjudication: A sentence or disposition where a juvenile offender pleads guilty to an offense, but the judge does not accept the plea and does not formally adjudicate the juvenile.
Certification: Refers to the process of certifying a juvenile offender to be treated as an adult and prosecuted in adult court. The prosecutor must make a motion to the juvenile court judge to have the case referred to adult court where the juvenile offender will be prosecuted as if he or she is an adult, and subject to adult penalties and sentencing (i.e. possible adult prison time). This is usually for the most serious juvenile offenses. In Minnesota, juveniles as young as age 14 may be certified to adult court.
E.J.J.: Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction. Refers to the ability of the juvenile justice system to keep a juvenile offender on probation past the point of adulthood, until age 21. This is used for more serious juvenile offenses.
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
Many juvenile offenders are eligible for the services of the public defender. A private attorney can often devote greater time and resources to the defense of a juvenile offender.