Young people, especially teenagers, make mistakes. In some cases, these errors in judgment end up in the criminal justice system. According to data provided by the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget, approximately 21,000 juveniles are arrested in the state each year.
Many, but not all, of these arrests, result in a juvenile court filing.
For a parent, there are few things more stressful and frightening than finding out that your child has been arrested or detained. You need to know how to protect their rights and secure their future. Here, our Mankato juvenile crime attorneys explain the four steps to take if your child was arrested in Southern Minnesota.
1. Take a Breath, Understand the Situation
Learning that your child was arrested can be downright overwhelming. You need to take a moment to breathe so that you can carefully analyze the situation. Figure out where they are, what they have been accused of, and what they are being charged with. In many cases, minors will be released into the custody of the parents—but there are exceptions.
2. Consult With a Minnesota Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyer
If your child or an underage loved one is accused of a serious offense, it is best to call a lawyer. You and your family are not alone. Professional guidance and support is just a phone call away. An experienced Mankato defense attorney will be able to review the case, explain Minnesota’s juvenile justice process, and take the appropriate legal action to protect your child.
3. Know How to Explore Every Option for Rehabilitation
As explained by the Minnesota Judicial Branch, juvenile delinquency cases are generally handled outside of the adult criminal justice system. For minors, the state is focused far more on rehabilitation and reformation than punishment—meaning youthful offenders have additional options available. Still, it would be a mistake to assume that juvenile justice cases are not serious or that the process is easy to navigate. It can be complicated. Your Minnesota juvenile defense lawyer will help you get your child into the proper program.
4. Close the File: Be Ready to Get Records Sealed
In Minnesota, many juvenile delinquency cases are not part of the public record. However, there are exceptions. If a child is 16 or 17 and was accused of a serious offense, their case, at least initially, maybe public. An experienced juvenile justice attorney can help you take action to ensure that all records are sealed—to the greatest extent that they can under Minnesota’s regulations. By doing so, you can best protect your child from facing adverse, long-term ramifications for a youthful mistake.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Minnesota Juvenile Defense Lawyer Today
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our compassionate Minnesota criminal defense attorneys have deep experience handling juvenile justice cases. If your child was arrested and charged with a crime, please contact us for a strictly private initial consultation. From our office location in Mankato, we represent teenagers and families throughout Southern Minnesota, including in Le Sueur County, Blue Earth County, and Nicollet County.