What Is Adult Certification?

To try a juvenile as an adult, the prosecution must have a separate trial to determine if it is the proper course of action. This is known as an adult certification hearing. Juveniles and their attorneys must be notified in a timely manner if the prosecution intends to seek adult certification.

When a child is 14 or 15 at the time of the offense, the burden is on the state to prove the need for adult certification. Over the age of 16, it is presumptive certification. If the prosecution is unable to obtain adult certification for a child between the ages of 14 and 17, it can pursue extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ) as a fallback option.

At GROSHEK LAW PA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, our juvenile defense lawyers are experienced with defending young adults against criminal charges of all types.

Certification And Social Studies

Upon notice of the prosecutor’s intention to seek adult certification, the court will order a certification study and a social study. A probation officer and psychologist will make determinations based on factors such as:

  • The seriousness of the alleged offense in terms of community protection, including the use of firearms and the impact on the victim
  • The culpability of the child in planning and carrying out the offense
  • The child’s record of delinquency
  • The child’s programming history, including past willingness to participate in available programming
  • The adequacy of the punishment or programming available in the juvenile justice system
  • The dispositional options available for the child

A first-degree murder charge would result in automatic certification upon indictment by a grand jury. The prosecutor has to prove that public safety would be served if the child was certified. If the child is over 16, the child must prove that public safety is served by retaining jurisdiction in juvenile court.

Not All Offenses Are Eligible For Adult Certification

Having a juvenile charged as an adult is an option only if it is deemed appropriate through the hearing process. The offense in question must be an offense that would result in prison time for an adult facing the same charges.

Protect Your Rights | Contact GROSHEK LAW PA

Christa Groshek understands all of the programming options available to juveniles in these cases. To discuss your adult certification matter with her, schedule a consultation by calling 612-426-7047. You may also contact our lawyers online.

Why Hire Us?

At Groshek Law PA, each client is viewed as an individual, not a legal problem.


We start with a proactive approach through mutual education.


We expect the unexpected, so we are always prepared.


Our attorneys adhere to the Highest Professional Standard.