Juvenile law is a whole separate branch of criminal justice in the state of Minnesota. Juvenile law refers to a crime committed by anyone under the age of 18. The juvenile system focuses on both punishment and rehabilitation to ensure that the youth does not continue down a path of criminal activity during his adult life.
Common Juvenile Crimes
Underage Drinking and Driving – if you are issued with an underage drinking and driving arrest, this means that you have been caught with alcohol in your blood stream while operating a vehicle. It does not matter if you have only had a sip of beer. If you are under the age of 21, there is a Not a Drop Law which means if any alcohol is found in your system, then you could be arrested.
Open Container Law – open container law means that you have been caught in a public place with an open bottle of alcohol. This is against the law for everyone but juveniles are often the main culprits of this crime. If you are caught drinking in a public area, such as a beach, a park, an outdoor concert or any other public event, then you could be facing an open container conviction.
Disorderly Conduct – disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace arrests usually happen in public places, such as on the street, at an outdoor event or at a party. Disorderly conduct means you are displaying offensive, boisterous or indecent behavior. This could include streaking, getting into a fight or screaming loudly late at night. In many instances, a disorderly conduct arrest will go hand in hand with an open container or other arrest for public drunkenness.
Shoplifting – shoplifting is a common juvenile offense. It could be because juveniles often do not have a steady income to pay for items or simply because they have been pressured by their friends to steal an item. Shoplifting may also occur simply because a juvenile is bored or because they have been dared. In some instances a shoplifting offense will be considered petty theft but in other instances, it could be considered grand theft if the amount stolen is over $400.
Handling a Juvenile Arrest
In most instances, your arrest will not only impact you. It will also negatively impact your parents. After all, they will need to attend court with you and will need to come up with their own discipline for you actions. They will most likely need to defend your actions to teachers, friends, family members and neighbors.
Furthermore, if you are convicted of a juvenile crime, then you will have this crime stamped on your permanent record. This can be accessed by future schools, employers and landlords making it harder to get accepted into good schools, find decent jobs and even find a nice place to live.
Minneapolis Defense Lawyer
The most important thing to remember when it comes to juvenile law is that there is a way to avoid a criminal conviction. Let an experienced juvenile defense attorney assess your case and determine the best strategy for your situation.