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Juvenile Crimes


In the State of Minnesota, JUVENILE CRIMES are those of which a minor (a person who is under 18 years old) breaks the law. Given that these types of cases involve children, special court procedures have been created and implemented in order to protect their interests and wellbeing. For example, they are separated from the adult criminal process, and most juvenile cases are kept confidential and out of the public eye. Exceptions to this are more serious crimes committed by minors over the age of 16. It is strongly encouraged that you have a lawyer in order to understand and best protect your rights. At Aberrant Law, we understand how scary and upsetting it may be to have a young loved one face legal action, and we are prepared to help you every step of the way. Contact us now at 651-364-1508 to learn more about how we can help.

Categories of Juvenile Crimes


This generally refers to any individual under the age of 18 who has violated any state or local law or commits an act that would be considered unlawful had an adult done it (ex. attempted murder in the first degree). The term delinquent also includes minors who have escaped from confinement from a juvenile correctional facility, either state or local. Exceptions to this include children who have committed petty offenses or have been alleged to have committed murder in the first degree after turning 16 years old, as per MN Statute 260B.007.6.

Petty Offenders

This includes individuals under the age of 18 who partake in activities that are illegal for them, but not necessarily are illegal for adults, such as underage drinking, a curfew violation, or a controlled substance offense such as marijuana, as stated in MN Statute 260B.007.16.

Juvenile Traffic Offenders

This refers to individuals under the age of 18 who violate traffic laws, though there are some exceptions to this. Depending on their age (16 years or older) and the nature of the traffic offense, their case may go through adult court instead of juvenile court. For example, a 16 year old with a DWI charge will be treated the same as an adult offender. MN Statute 260B.225.3

Trying a Juvenile as an Adult

In some instances, the court may decide to try a child over the age of 14 years old as an adult through certification. This means that, if they are accused of a particularly dangerous offense and/or has engaged in criminal conduct in the past, they may be criminally prosecuted in adult court instead of juvenile court. It is up to the prosecution to initiate this process, and the defendant must meet certain criteria in order for this to be filed. It is also important to note that juveniles who have committed first-degree murder may bypass this certification process and go straight to adult criminal court to be tried as an adult.

Extended Jurisdiction Juveniles

On the other hand, in some instances, prosecution may decide that the juvenile matter would be better handled in juvenile court instead of adult court, even if the alleged offense is a serious crime that may merit adult court. If a child over the age of 14 has been given a stayed (i.e., delayed) adult criminal sentence, this extended jurisdiction juvenile procedure would extend the court’s jurisdiction over the child until they turn 21 years old. Again, this is a process that would be initiated by the prosecution.

What does the court process look like?

Prosecutor files for petition


First appearance


What should I do?

Contact us at 651-364-1508 to see how we can help with your case.

Frequently Asked Question

  • Minnesota law makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle and they define the term motor vehicle as “every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires. the term includes motorboats in operation and off-road recreation vehicles, but does not include a vehicle moved solely by human power. So your ATV’s, electric scooters and bikes, boats, jetskis, and yes, even your tractors, are fair game.