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Defense structure, 2017

  • Organization


  • Oversight

    Full oversight

Minnesota provides counsel to indigent youth through full time public defender offices in each of the state’s judicial districts. Visit the National Juvenile Defender Center's Minnesota state profile for more details.

Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile may waive his or her right to counsel as long as the waiver is made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily only after a consultation with an attorney.

  • Restrictions on waivers
  • No restrictions
  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2013 legislative sessions.
  • Age

    Under 0

  • Crime

    Juveniles cannot waive right to counsel if alleged to have committed specified act that would be specified crime if committed by adult.

  • Hearing

    No restrictions

  • Placement

    Juveniles cannot waive right to counsel if possibility of specified placement(s).

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Minnesota, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Detention Hearing / First Court Appearance / Arraignment; Once a Petition is Filed / Hearing on the Petition; Loss of Freedom / Institutionalization / Commitment / Imprisonment; All Stages of Proceedings / All Critical States of Proceedings.

  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2013 legislative sessions.

Indigency requirements, 2013

Indigency determination: Judicially

In Minnesota, the legal authority is juvenile statutes and adult statutes, which determine the standards for indigency. Indigent defense training available for appointed counsel. Indigency is judicially determined.

Collateral consequences, 2014

By Juvenile Court Rule of procedures in Minnesota, the court must not accept a youth's plea until making a range of determinations. Specifically that the juvenile understands the powers of the court to make a disposition if the court finds that the allegations in the charging document are proved, including:

  1. The juvenile's understanding that the court's powers range up to the most severe step of placing custody of the juvenile in an institution
  2. The court's disposition could be for a duration ranging upward to the time the juvenile attains age 19
  3. The court can modify an initial disposition, even repeatedly, for a term ranging up to the time the juvenile attains age 19
  4. The juvenile understands the potential future consequences if the court finds that the allegations in the charging document are proved, including the implications for certification as an adult or prosecution under Minnesota's blended sentencing framework.

Additionally, effective January 1, 2015, Minnesota has amended its juvenile expungement statute (260B.198) in such a way that seeks to eliminate the collateral consequences of ex-offender status for the juvenile. Previous law permitted the juvenile court to seal only the order adjudicating the juvenile delinquent.  The 2015 amendment also permits the expungement of the arrest record or the charging document, as long as expungement would yield a benefit to the juvenile that outweighs the burden to the public and public safety. The amendment lists eight factors that the juvenile court must consider in making this determination.

  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2014 legislative sessions.

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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