I just finished representing a very sweet 17 year-old senior at a private school. She made a mistake. She hit a car in a parking lot and simply left the scene. Well, someone got her license and she was ultimately caught and charged with “hit and run”. This is a serious driving violation which can adversely affect insurance premiums and driver’s license privileges for those with under 18 or under 21 licenses. The ticket was in Dakota County. I meet with the prosecutor, whom I had a good working relationship with. She offered my client “PEER COURT” diversion. To make a long story short, in certain counties (such as Dakota) a juvenile offender may be given a chance to give a presentation of their offense to a high school civics class and then get feedback from the class in terms of what should have been done; and, what would be appropriate to do once the crime was committed. For those brave souls who can do this, the prosecutor will completely DISMISS the driving charges and the juvenile gets a fresh chance at life, with NO marks on their driving record. My client accepted this very novel approach. For a one+ hour Q and A in a high school, the prosecutor will dismiss the hit and run charge and keep it off my client’s record. This program allows “peers” to learn of consequences from bad decisions (like leaving the scene of an accident), and allows the offender to be “judged” by their peers in terms of proper procedure when getting involved in a legal situation.
If you have a juvenile charged with a criminal or traffic offense, contact a lawyer and see if the prosecution has Peer Court options to give the kid a second chance. It’s brilliant!!!! For more information, call attorney Richard W. Hechter at 952-920-0840. Practicing civil and criminal law since 1988! www.richhechter.com