Subdivision 3 of Minnesota Statute § 260B.007 defines a child as an individual under 18 years of age. Children who violate local, state, or federal laws can be classified as delinquents or one of several different classifications of juveniles.
Under Rule 17.01 of the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Delinquency Procedure, juvenile petty offenders are children who have allegedly committed juvenile petty offenses (acts involving conduct prohibited for children but lawful for adults) while juvenile traffic offenders are children who have allegedly committed traffic offenses. Extended jurisdiction juveniles are children who 14 years of age or older who allegedly commit more serious (possibly felony) criminal offenses that would be punishable by imprisonment for adults, and some juveniles of the same age group may also be certified to the adult court when they have prior criminal records or are accused of particularly dangerous crimes.
Unlike the traditional adult criminal system that focuses on punishment for alleged offenders, the juvenile justice system in Minnesota emphasizes rehabilitation. Subdivision 2 of Minnesota Statute § 388.24 required every county attorney to establish a pretrial diversion program for juvenile offenders. Diversion programs allow children to complete certain requirements and comply with specific court requirements. Successful completion of these programs can lead to delinquency petitions being dismissed or not being filed.
While diversion programs can allow children to avoid the lasting consequences of a criminal conviction, not every child is eligible for such programs. Participation is often solely at the discretion of the prosecutor. For this reason, it is critical for any child accused of a criminal offense to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Kirk M. Anderson is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis who helps alleged juvenile offenders qualify for and complete diversion programs. Anderson Law Firm, PLLC handles many different types of alleged juvenile crimes, including—but not limited to—vandalism, shoplifting, and various drug crimes.
If you or your child was arrested in the greater Twin Cities area for any alleged violation of local, state, or federal law, it is in your best interest to contact our firm as soon as possible. Anderson Law Firm, PLLC will provide a free, confidential consultation to review your case and help you understand all of your possibly legal options.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.