It is common for teenagers to display rebellious behavior, but their actions can sometimes be severe enough to get them in trouble at school or with law enforcement.

If your child faces a disciplinary hearing or a criminal charge, you should call a Bloomington student defense lawyer to protect their rights at school or mount a defense in court. A legal professional who is knowledgeable about these proceedings could help mitigate the potential penalties of a guilty verdict and give you and your child peace of mind.

Juvenile Crime Laws in Bloomington

Minnesota’s set of rules regarding juvenile residents accused of crimes is separate from its other laws and is uniformly enforced across the state. There are many state-specific details, such as Minnesota Juvenile Delinquency Procedure Rule 17.02, which dictates that a child charged as a petty offender or juvenile traffic offender does not have the right to a public defender. Their parents must obtain private counsel if they want their child to be represented. However, if a child under 18 commits a serious felony, the child may be certified into adult criminal court.

An alternative for children between 14 and 17 is an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, explained in Minnesota Statutes 260B.130. This statute provides conditions that could keep children out of prison, but those who violate terms of a stay of sentencing or commit other crimes face imminent arrest. A local criminal defense lawyer could help protect your child’s rights whether the offense is minor or serious.

Types of Alcohol Related-Offenses

Criminal offenses that high school and college students are charged with often involve underage drinking. An underage person could be caught using a fake ID to get into a bar or purchase alcohol or be charged with alcohol possession with intent to consume. These offenses are usually minor but can be severe when driving is involved.

Students who drink and drive when they are younger than 21 face criminal misdemeanor charges under Minnesota’s Not-A-Drop law. Under this law, even a trace of alcohol in a teen’s system while they are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle could land them in jail for up to 90 days with a maximum fine of $1,000. First-time offenders lose their driver’s licenses for 30 days, while repeat offenders may have their driving privileges suspended for 180 days. Unlicensed students caught under the Not-A-Drop law will have a difficult time getting a driver’s license.

Driving While Intoxicated in Bloomington

A student could also face the more serious charge of driving while intoxicated if their blood alcohol level exceeds .08. Underaged offenders who are 16 or 17 will be prosecuted as adults and face adult punishment, which could entail jail time, depending on the circumstances and license suspension. Alcohol-related charges can have a serious impact on a young person’s future,  so an accused student may benefit from a nearby defense lawyer who could assess their situation.

Other Types of Student Offenses

Although underage drinking is the most common charge against a student, other infractions that teens may be charged with include:

  • Sexual offenses such as rape, harassment, stalking
  • Drug charges, including possession of prescription pills, methamphetamines, heroin, and marijuana
  • Theft charges such as burglary and robbery
  • Assault and battery charges, which could result from fights on campus

Students who commit these offenses on college or high school campuses may have to go through two investigations, first with the campus police and then through a school disciplinary action. If the issue amounts to a crime, the Bloomington Police Department or Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office may also investigate.

Once a student becomes embroiled in the criminal justice system, their chances of a successful future is put at risk. Because a criminal record is available for public searches, convicted  individuals face a lifetime of trouble finding jobs, housing, and loans. By contacting a criminal defense attorney in the area, a student can avoid these potentially permanent consequences.

A Bloomington Student Defense Lawyer Could Help

Although Minnesota laws standardize how juveniles are treated if they commit crimes, prosecutors still work hard to convict wrongdoing students. A Bloomington student defense lawyer understands that young people sometimes do things they will come to regret and could work diligently to safeguard a student’s future. Call today to schedule a consultation, and learn more about your child’s legal options.