Alternative Sentencing for Juveniles

Criminal cases involving alleged offenders under 18 years of age are subject to the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Delinquency Procedure. While many alleged offenders in the juvenile justice system may be eligible for programs that focus more on rehabilitation, prosecutors may seek adult certification or extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ)—a dual sentence that involves an adult sanction and a juvenile sanction—in certain cases.

The difference between how these cases may be handled is enormous, as children who are tried as adults can face extremely serious consequences that may include lengthy prison sentences as well as significant fines. The possible effects of criminal records that result from some juvenile criminal cases can potentially have lifelong consequences.

Lawyer for Alternative Juvenile Sentencing in Apple Valley, MN

Were you or your child arrested for an alleged criminal offense in the Twin Cities? You will want to contact James Blumberg Law as soon as possible for help achieving the best possible outcome to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Apple Valley criminal defense attorney James Blumberg represents alleged juvenile offenders all over the greater Dakota County area, including Eagan, Eden Prairie, Blaine, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, and many other nearby communities. Call (952) 431-7758 right now to take advantage of a free initial consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options.

Overview of Alternative Sentencing for Juveniles in Minnesota

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Types of Alternative Sentencing Programs for Juveniles in Dakota County

Certain juvenile offenders, such as first-time offenders, may usually be eligible for any one of a number of various programs that are intended to be alternatives to adult or juvenile court systems. Successful completion of these programs generally results in the alleged juvenile offender’s citation being dismissed.

In Dakota County, a few of the Youth Accountability Programs for alleged juvenile offenders include:

  • Alcohol & Marijuana — Dakota County has two levels of Alcohol & Marijuana Youth Accountability Programs. Level 1 is for first-time illegal use of alcohol or marijuana offenders and involves alleged juvenile offenders attending an educational class with at least one parent. Level 2 is for alleged juvenile offenders who have been charged a second time with illegal use of alcohol or marijuana. In the Level 2 program, juveniles must attend four educational classes with at least one parent and also may be required to complete in-class assignments, exercises, and urinalysis tests.
  • Misdemeanor Property Offenses — Alleged juvenile offenders who have been charged for the first time with a misdemeanor property-related offense such as shoplifting, theft, or trespassing attend an educational class with at least one parent and also pay restitution to the alleged victim for the loss or damage of property.
  • Gross Misdemeanor and Felony Property Offenses — When an alleged juvenile offender is accused of a gross misdemeanor or low-level felony property offense in which the value of the property stolen or damaged is $2,500 or less, he or she may be eligible to attend an educational class with at least one parent, pay restitution to the alleged victim for the loss or damage of property, and perform community service.
  • Juvenile Peer Court — Peer Court is an alternative sentencing program in which students serve as jurors, observers and court bailiffs. The alleged juvenile offender has the opportunity to present his or her version of events at a hearing and the student jurors may impose sanctions such as curfew, restitution, or participation in Peer Court. Failure to complete sanctions can result in formal prosecution in Juvenile Court.
  • Juvenile Firesetter Education Program — Alleged juvenile offenders of any age who are accused of first-time false fire alarm, misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor negligent fires, misdemeanor dangerous smoking, fire-related city ordinance violation, fireworks, or fifth-degree arson offenses and first-time alleged juvenile offenders between the ages of 10 and 12 years accused of felony negligent fires, third-degree arson, or fourth-degree arson can be eligible for this program in which they attend an educational class with at least one parent and may also have to pay restitution to alleged victims and perform community service.

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Blended Sentencing for Juveniles in Apple Valley

In 1994, Minnesota was one of multiple states in the nation that introduced EJJ or “blended sentencing” for alleged juvenile offenders who are accused of criminal offenses that are more serious in nature. When a prosecutor requests that a proceeding be designated an EJJ prosecution, the court holds a hearing to consider the request.

Under Minnesota Statute § 260B.130, a proceeding involving a juvenile who allegedly committed a felony offense is an EJJ prosecution if:

  • The juvenile was 14 to 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense, a certification hearing was held, and the court designated the proceeding an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution;
  • The juvenile was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense; the child is alleged to have committed an offense for which the sentencing guidelines and applicable statutes presume a commitment to prison or to have committed any felony in which the child allegedly used a firearm; and the prosecutor designated in the delinquency petition that the proceeding is an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution; or
  • The juvenile was 14 to 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense, the prosecutor requested that the proceeding be designated an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, a hearing was held on the issue of designation, and the court designated the proceeding an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution.

If EJJ prosecution results in the alleged juvenile offender being found guilty, the court will impose one or more juvenile dispositions and impose an adult criminal sentence, the execution of will be stayed on the condition that the alleged juvenile offender not violate the provisions of the juvenile disposition order and not commit a new offense. Possible juvenile dispositions may include—but are not limited to—probation, driver’s license suspension, and/or counseling.

Unless the stayed sentence is executed after a revocation hearing for any violation of the juvenile disposition, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court will end on the child’s 21st birthday or at the end of the maximum probationary term, whichever occurs first. Prosecutors may seek EJJ prosecution if they are unsuccessful getting adult certification for an alleged juvenile offender.

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Minnesota Resources for Alternative Juvenile Sentencing

Alternatives to Court | Dakota County — Visit this section of the Dakota County website to view all of the alternatives to court that may be available for alleged juvenile offenders. You can learn more about the basics of each program as well as what happens when a juvenile successfully completes the program.

Office of Dakota County Attorney
Dakota County Judicial Center
1560 Highway 55
Hastings, MN 55033
(651) 438-4438

Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction | Minnesota’s Blended Sentencing Law — In March 1998, the Dakota County Attorney released this report that examined some of the changes to the juvenile justice system in the mid-1990s. The report discusses what prompted the changes, the legislative process, and the
law relating to extended jurisdiction juveniles.

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James Blumberg Law | Apple Valley Alternative Sentencing for Juveniles Lawyer

If you or your child were arrested for any kind of alleged criminal offense in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. James Blumberg Law aggressively defends alleged juvenile offender throughout Scott County, Washington County, Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County, Hennepin County, and Ramsey County.

James Blumberg is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Apple Valley who fights to get the most favorable resolutions for clients in St. Cloud, Woodbury, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Plymouth, and many nearby areas. You can have him provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (952) 431-7758 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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