Hand on Chain Link Fence

Fast Facts About Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction (EJJ)

Extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ) has been around for decades. It allows the juvenile court to issue a dual sentence in some instances, meaning an adult prison sentence and a juvenile sanction may be assessed in the same case (Minn. Stat. § 260B.130). If you have a child that has been charged with a crime, they might be given a dual sentence under EJJ. The juvenile’s age and nature of the crime will be determining factors when deciding if an EJJ disposition is appropriate.

In Minnesota, children over the age of 14 years alleged to have committed a felony offense can be tried as an adult under specific circumstances. With EJJ, their sentence can be blended between juvenile court and the adult system. If you have a child that has been charged with a crime, seek legal help immediately. An experienced juvenile crime lawyer can help your family navigate the legal system, avoid extended juvenile jurisdiction, and ensure the best outcome for your child.

What Is Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction?

In simple terms, EJJ is reserved for severe crimes committed by juveniles over the age of 14. When the offense is severe enough, the minor may be prosecuted as an adult. MN Stat § 206B.130 defines EJJ as “a proceeding involving a child alleged to have committed a felony offense is an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution if:

  1. the child was 14 to 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense, a specific hearing was held, and the court designated the proceeding an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution;
  2. the child was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense; the child is alleged to have committed an offense for which the Sentencing Guidelines and applicable statutes presume a commitment to prison or to have committed any felony in which the child allegedly used a firearm, and the prosecutor designated in the delinquency petition that the proceeding is an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution; or
  3. the child was 14 to 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense; the prosecutor requested that the proceeding be designated an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, a hearing was held on the issue of designation, and the court established the proceeding as an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution.”

Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction Eligibility

The Minnesota statute listed above outlines the eligibility guidelines for EJJ. When determining if a juvenile case should be designated as an extended juvenile jurisdiction matter, several factors will be considered by the court. Age is the first factor. Anyone younger than 14 years old cannot be tried in adult court. If the juvenile is above 14, then EJJ is an option, but only if the crime is severe enough and the prosecutor moves for certification, AND the court designates the matter as EJJ. EJJ is not automatic. This is where a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can make the difference between a juvenile sentence and an adult prison sentence.

Additional factors that will be considered are the nature and severity of the crime and the juvenile’s record, and any previous behavior while on probation. EJJ is determined on a case-by-case basis and is not typical of every juvenile over the age of 14 charged with a crime. More serious charges, such as assault or murder charges, may be cause for an EJJ because of the severity of the act.

Common juvenile offenses, such as the ones listed below, are generally not grounds for EJJ. The most common offenses committed by juveniles include:

  • Traffic violations
  • Truancy
  • Burglary
  • Graffiti and vandalism
  • Shoplifting
  • Underage drinking or drug possession
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Running away from home
  • Bullying and cyberbullyin

Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction Hearings

After the prosecutor has made an EJJ motion to the court, there will be a hearing before a judge to decide if the case will be designated as an EJJ or a juvenile delinquency matter. The court will order a psychological study and probation study. Afterward, a hearing will be held on whether or not the prosecutor can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the statutory factors for EJJ have been met.

During this hearing, the juvenile’s attorney can cross-examine the state’s witnesses and present witnesses on the juvenile’s behalf. Lauren Campoli has conducted several of these hearings.

Conviction of the offense results in a juvenile court sentencing and a stayed adult court sentencing, to be imposed if the child fails to satisfy sentencing conditions. EJJ is also considered a fallback option when an adult certification motion fails.

Certification to Adult Court

Another way juveniles are tried in adult court is through certification to adult court. This type of certification is reserved for repeat offenders or particularly dangerous and volatile offenders. Anyone who fits this bill over the age of 16 may be certified as an adult to be tried in adult court. Once the juvenile has been certified to the adult court, they will be treated as an adult defendant.

The law presumes that certain juvenile offenders will be certified to adult court for criminal prosecution. A child is subject to this presumption if:

  1. the child was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the felony offense; and
  2. the court finds probable cause to believe the child committed either: (1) a felony offense that would result in a presumptive commitment to prison under the sentencing guidelines and applicable statutes (generally violent or other repeat serious offenses); or (2) any felony offense while using a firearm.

In these cases, the juvenile can rebut the presumption with clear and convincing evidence that demonstrates retaining the case in the juvenile court serves public safety. If the juvenile doesn’t refute the presumption, the court must certify the case to adult court (Minn. Stat. § 260B.125).

Lauren Campoli has represented juveniles through Extended Juvenile Jurisdiction and Certification proceedings. She has successfully defended a juvenile murder case that resulted in the matter being prosecuted in juvenile court rather than adult court. In that matter, Lauren’s advocacy resulted in the dismissal of the murder charge.

Contact an Experienced Juvenile Defense Lawyer Today

Parents of delinquent children may find themselves completely overwhelmed by the legal process. The juvenile justice system has its own rules, regulations, and requirements. Dealing with extended juvenile jurisdiction only leads to more confusion, as your child may be subjected to juvenile adult court sanctions. Having a reliable juvenile defense lawyer like Lauren Campoli on your side ensures that you get the best legal advice and guidance every step of the way. The first step in protecting your child’s future is just one call to 612-810-0060 or contact the Law Office of Lauren Campoli online today.