Southern Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Keeping Your Child’s Record Clean
Juvenile offenses in Mankato, in Rochester and throughout Minnesota need to be taken extremely seriously, and many parents know how critical it is to do everything possible to help their child avoid a conviction. Although some types of juvenile offenses will not necessarily follow a child into adulthood, it is essential to know that many types of offenses have long-term consequences beyond merely having a criminal record. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we have years of experience defending minors in juveniles crimes cases. When we take a juvenile crimes case, we work to build the strongest possible defense for your child.
Our firm will tailor a defense strategy to the facts of your child’s case, and we will discuss all possible outcomes with you and explain the juvenile crimes defense process thoroughly. We know how upsetting and frightening it can be when your child is accused of a crime, and we can answer any questions you have today. Do not hesitate to get in touch with an experienced juvenile crimes attorney at Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd.
Why Choose Our Firm When Your Child Is In Legal Trouble
For parents and guardians, there are few things more stressful than seeing a child get themselves into trouble. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we provide compassionate and solutions-driven guidance and support across the full extent of juvenile justice cases. These are specialized legal cases – families need an attorney with relevant expertise. When you reach out to our law office, you will have a chance to speak to a Minnesota juvenile crimes lawyer who will:
- Hear your story and answer questions about our state’s juvenile justice system
- Investigate the allegations, gathering and organizing all relevant evidence
- Handle police and prosecutors – helping your family find the best solution
- Develop a personalized strategy devoted to protecting your child’s rights and future
Types Of Juvenile Crime Cases Our Firm Handles
Juvenile crime cases can vary widely, from traffic violations and minor offenses involving curfew violations to felony offenses up to first-degree murder. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we handle many kinds of juvenile crimes cases, including but not limited to the following:
- Underage drinking
- Underage DWI/DUI
- Drug crimes including possession and distribution
- Sex crimes, including sexual assault offenses
- Internet crimes like fraud and identity theft
- Violent theft crimes
It is important to know that even offenses like underage drinking or an underage DUI/DWI can result in serious charges that have significant consequences. Accordingly, no matter what type of offense your child is accused of committing, it is essential to work with a juvenile crimes defense attorney in Southern Minnesota.
Penalties For Juvenile Crimes In Minnesota
The penalties for conviction of a crime for a juvenile will depend in part on the category of the juvenile offender. Generally speaking, under Minnesota law, juvenile criminal cases will be heard by a juvenile court. The Minnesota House Research Department explains that the “juvenile court has jurisdiction over individuals under the age of 18 who engage in unlawful conduct, with certain exceptions.” Penalties for juveniles are then based on the type of criminal matter and which category of offender the juvenile falls into. The following are the types of categories of juvenile offenders in Minnesota:
- Delinquents, which includes juveniles under the age of 18 who have committed an offense that would also be unlawful if an adult committed it
- Petty offenders, which includes juveniles who have committed acts that were unlawful for minors but would not be unlawful for adults, like curfew or alcohol crimes
- Juvenile traffic offenders, which includes minors who have violated traffic laws
- Juveniles certified to adult court, which includes minors who are over the age of 14 who have been “accused of a particularly dangerous offense” or are repeat offenders, resulting in their case being heard in an adult criminal court
- Extended jurisdiction juveniles, or EJJs, which are minors aged “14 years or older who commit felony-level delinquent acts and are subject to adult certification and who, in the prosecutor’s or the court’s opinion, would be more aptly treated by the juvenile court”
- Juveniles age 16 and older accused of first-degree murder, which refers to minors who are at least 16 and have been accused of first-degree murder
When a juvenile court has jurisdiction over a minor, there are a range of penalty options that may include, for example:
- Monetary fine
- Home detention
- Sex offender treatment
- Out-of-home placement
- Driver’s license suspension
- Community service
- Placement in a juvenile correctional facility
Juveniles who are certified to adult court or convicted of first-degree murder will typically face the same consequences as an adult for the same offense and can be held in an adult facility following an indictment.
Juvenile Delinquency In Southern Minnesota
There are special court procedures in Minnesota for handling criminal cases against juveniles who are accused of various types of criminal offenses in the state. According to the Minnesota Courts, juvenile delinquency matters can include any of the following when they are committed by a juvenile under the age of 18:
- Petty misdemeanor
- Gross misdemeanor
It is critical to know that, even in juvenile delinquency cases that are handled outside the adult court system, felony cases involving juveniles aged 16 or older are matters of public record. While many juvenile delinquency proceedings can remain confidential, records from these types of felony cases will be accessible to the public.
How To Avoid Juvenile Detention Or EJJ
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we know how important it is to ensure that your child is not sentenced to a juvenile detention center and that your child does not become eligible for EJJ. While a sentence to a juvenile detention center or eligibility for EJJ usually results from felony offenses, it is important to remember that juvenile courts do have the ability to issue a range of sentences to minors who are convicted of criminal offenses. The best way to avoid serious penalties and to ensure that your child can remain at home while abiding by a lesser sentence imposed by the court.
Juvenile Crimes: Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the juvenile justice system different?
The juvenile justice system in Minnesota is different from the adult criminal justice system in several ways. Minors who are accused of a crime are tried in a separate court, with a focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Confidentiality is also a key aspect, with proceedings and records being kept private. A defense lawyer can help you navigate the process.
Can a juvenile criminal record be expunged in Minnesota?
Yes. As a starting point, juvenile delinquency cases are already subject to additional privacy protections. Beyond that, minors have far more ability to completely expunge their criminal records. Our Mankato and Rochester defense lawyers help parents protect their child’s future by ensuring that records are sealed and expunged to the maximum extent possible under the law.
Can a minor ever be charged as an adult in Minnesota?
The answer is an unequivocal “yes.” While the large majority of juvenile criminal cases are handled within the specialized juvenile justice system, some teenagers can be charged as an adult. MN House Research explains that juvenile courts have the authority to transfer a case to the adult court system if the offender is 14 years of age or older, has been charged with an especially dangerous crime, and the court feels that it is appropriate that the matter be handled in the traditional court system.
Contact Our Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers
If your child is facing any kind of criminal offense in Minnesota, it is critical to hire an experienced juvenile crimes lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your child’s defense. Penalties for juvenile crime convictions can vary widely, and children can face long-term consequences even for relatively minor offenses. It is essential to do everything possible to help your child beat the charges they are facing. Contact Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., online or call our defense lawyers at 507-405-2442 to find out more about how we help families of juveniles who are facing criminal charges in Minnesota.
“This law firm is very experienced, very effective, and yet very personable when interacting with me throughout my nerve-wracking legal process. I’m completely satisfied with the outcome of my case. I would hire the Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office again without hesitation. And, I have since recommended them to several friends and acquaintances.”
– TOM W., CLIENT