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Parents of teens facing criminal charges: What you need to know

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Discovering your teen is facing criminal charges can be a jarring and distressing experience. As a parent, your first reaction might be a mix of anger, disappointment and concern. While these are all valid responses, try to stay calm, take a deep breath and consider the steps you can take to address this situation.

Why do teens get into legal trouble, anyway?

The teenage years involve rapid development and significant changes. Young people are trying to carve out their identities, often pushing boundaries and taking risks. The quest for acceptance and the influence of peer pressure can lead them to make impulsive decisions without considering or truly appreciating the consequences.

Common juvenile offenses in Minnesota

Certain offenses are more commonly associated with juveniles. Here are some of the infractions that teens may find themselves accused of:

  • Vandalism or graffiti charges
  • Shoplifting and theft
  • Underage drinking or possession of alcohol
  • Drug possession and related offenses
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Assault or involvement in a fight

Each of these offenses carries its own set of consequences, though there may be alternatives like diversion programs for which your child may be eligible. Discussing the case, the allegations and the potential defense strategies with an attorney can help you get a clearer picture of what to expect.

Long-term impacts of a criminal record

Minnesota’s laws can be complex, and the juvenile justice system is distinct from that of adults. However, these are all still serious allegations that come with penalties like fines, probation and incarceration.

Further, a criminal record can be like a shadow that follows your teen into adulthood, affecting college admissions, job opportunities and even housing.

Protecting your teen’s future

If your teen is facing legal issues, taking immediate action is crucial. You can start by consulting with a juvenile defense attorney who understands Minnesota’s laws and what is at stake. You can also connect your teen with counselors, therapists and other professionals to address any factors that may have contributed to their alleged involvement in a crime.

Remember, the mistakes made during adolescence don’t have to dictate the rest of your child’s life. With your support and legal guidance, your child can focus on moving past this and growing into a responsible adult.


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