When a minor is charged with a crime in the state of Minnesota, they enter the Minnesota juvenile criminal justice system. In many ways the juvenile criminal justice system is similar to the adult criminal justice system, there are key differences. In addition to the process and potential repercussions, on key differences is the juvenile systems focus on rehabilitation as opposed to the adult systems focus on punishment.
It is important to recognize that each county within Minnesota handles juvenile cases differently, however; there are several similarities throughout. First, juvenile criminal cases are handled in a private setting not open to the public. In adult criminal cases the hearings are held in open court rooms open to the public. Second, juvenile criminal cases usually involve several parties including parents, probation or social workers, the state and the court. In adult cases it is often simply between the state and the defendant. Finally, the court and the prosecution often times extends more options to a juvenile defendant than they would an adult emphasizing rehabilitation and the minors future.
One key difference between juvenile offenses and adult offenses is who can view your record. Often times an adult record is open to the public while a juvenile record is sealed to the public. This is not always the case as adult records can be expunged and sealed and sometimes juvenile records can be discovered by future employers or parties – especially in the case of felonies. This can be complicated so it is important to seek the opinion of a qualified attorney prior to accepting a plea deal.
The staff and attorneys at Thooft Law have extensive experience with proven results in both juvenile and criminal court throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota area. Please contact Derek at [email protected] or directly by phone at 651-364-7725 to discuss your options – initial consultations are free of charge.