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Juvenile Division Attorneys prosecute children under 18 years old for offenses they have committed within the County. This includes offenses ranging from petty offenses such as curfew violations to serious felony matters including murder. The juvenile attorneys receive police reports from the law enforcement agencies within the County and make decisions whether to send the juveniles to the diversion program or prosecute them in juvenile court.
A juvenile petty offense includes offenses that if committed by adults would not be considered a crime. These offenses typically include curfew and tobacco violations, alcohol possession and consumption, or possession of a small amount of marijuana. It also includes some misdemeanor crimes that by law are reduced to petty misdemeanors. These cases are most often diverted. However, if the juvenile doesn’t qualify for diversion or fails diversion the case will be heard in juvenile court. If the juvenile petty offender admits the charge, the juvenile court judge can impose any combination of the following consequences:
· Pay a fine of up to $100;
If the juvenile delinquent admits the charge, the juvenile court judge can impose any combination of the following consequences:
A juvenile traffic offense includes all petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felony traffic violations committed by juveniles who are under the age of 16. It also includes all traffic violations committed by juveniles who are 16 and 17 years old, except petty misdemeanor and DWI violations. Those cases are heard in adult court.
If the juvenile traffic offender admits the charge, the juvenile court judge can impose any combination of the following consequences:
When a juvenile commits an offense within the county, the Juvenile Division will consider whether or not to send the juvenile through the diversion program based on specific criteria established by the Olmsted County Attorney. Diversion offers juveniles, who admit they broke the law, an opportunity to avoid a juvenile court record. They sign a contract to complete certain requirements that address their unlawfully behavior, including community work service, restitution to the victim, programs on theft awareness, peaceful alternatives to conflict or other appropriate programs. If the juvenile successfully completes the diversion contract, their case will not be sent to court. The community benefits from diversion programs as the juvenile typically has a swift consequence as compared to cases that go through juvenile court. Juveniles who participate in diversion have a low recidivism rate.