How a Felony Charge Can Impact Your Child in Minnesota

If a juvenile (less than 18 years old) is charged with a felony in Minnesota, long-term, serious consequences can follow him or her for years to come if the child is found guilty. The juvenile court system handles most juvenile cases, though exceptional cases are referred to adult courts.

The Juvenile Justice System in Minnesota

Minnesota classifies anyone aged between 10 and 17 as a juvenile. Juveniles are subject to special court procedures and the laws and penalties they face are typically different than those faced by adult offenders. The juvenile court system generally has jurisdiction over felonies committed by persons younger than 18. It is possible, however, for a juvenile offender to be tried as an adult in the adult court system.

If a juvenile is found guilty of a felony offense, he or she will face penalties permitted under the court’s jurisdiction. The penalties include:

  • placement in a juvenile detention center or enrollment in a specialized school for juvenile offenders
  • probation
  • fines
  • counseling
  • restitution or community service
  • home detention or placement in foster care

Juveniles Charged in Adult Courts

Sometimes juvenile courts decide that adult courts should handle felony cases involving minors. This often happens when the child involved has a history of criminal conduct and/or is facing charges for a particularly dangerous offense. Juvenile courts can only refer children aged above 14 to adult courts because Minnesota law considers children below 14 to be legally incapable of committing a crime. A juvenile who is tried and convicted as an adult in the adult court system could be sent to prison.

Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Felony Convictions

A felony conviction as a juvenile can haunt a person for the rest of his or her life. When a juvenile is convicted of a felony offense, federal and state laws and municipal ordinances may cause barriers to arise in opportunities for future employment, housing, education, and even the exercise of civil rights.

A felony record could bar a person from taking advantage of government housing assistance, working with vulnerable people in health care, child care, or foster parenting, obtaining a job at a public school, enlisting in the military, or holding a position in law enforcement. He or she may also be banned from possessing firearms, traveling internationally, or even voting.

Additionally, the stigma associated with felony convictions can lead employers and landlords to reject applicants without cause.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

The criminal defense process in Minnesota constitutes several steps, starting with investigations and culminating with appeals. This process can be long and exhausting. An arrest alone can leave you scared, confused, and overwhelmed with emotions. Making logical decisions in this state can be difficult, especially if it is your first time interacting with the criminal justice system.
The first thing to do after you have been accused of a sex crime in Minneapolis, MN, is to familiarize yourself with the seriousness of the situation. The next thing is to seek legal guidance from a lawyer who has established a practice by successfully defending people facing sex crime accusations. You should also collect and preserve all proof that can help support your defense strategy.
One of the questions people facing a criminal charge ask is: How long does a criminal case take? The timeline of your criminal case in Minnesota will depend on the nature and severity of the alleged crime, the speed of the criminal justice system, the duration of the trial, and whether an appeal will be necessary. Delays at any stage of the criminal justice process may impact how long your criminal case will last. Generally, however, misdemeanor cases may resolve within weeks or months, while felony cases may linger in courts for up to a year.