Category Archives: Juvenile Offenses

St. Charles juvenile criminal defense attorney

Most adults will admit that they made some poor decisions in their youth. This may be attributed to the fact that the average human brain is still developing during adolescence. Research shows that a teenager’s prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and risk management, is not fully formed until his or her mid-20s or later. This may be part of the reason that juveniles who are otherwise law-abiding citizens sometimes make impulsive decisions that lead to criminal charges. If your child has been arrested and charged with a crime, you may wonder whether or not he or she will be tried as an adult. Juveniles who are tried as adults are subject to adult criminal penalties that can dramatically impact their future.

When Are Juveniles Treated as Adults Under Illinois Law?

If a person is 17 years old or younger and is accused of a misdemeanor offense, he or she will most likely be tried in juvenile court. However, if a child is 16 years old or older, and he or she is charged with certain more serious offenses, he or she may automatically be tried in adult court. A criminal defendant aged 16 or 17 will be tried as an adult in Illinois if he or she is charged with homicide, aggravated battery involving the use of a firearm, or sexual assault. If the child is under 16 years old, the prosecution may request for the case to be transferred to adult court, but this transfer may not be granted. The child’s attorney will have the opportunity to argue against the child being tried as an adult.

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St. Charles juvenile crimes defense attorney

For many young people, age 21 cannot come soon enough. Underage individuals may attempt to use a number of methods to obtain alcohol before they are old enough to legally drink it. They may ask an older sibling or friend to buy the alcohol for them, use a fake ID to purchase alcohol in a store, or steal drinks from their parents’ liquor cabinet. Although many juveniles underestimate the danger of underage drinking and even see it as a normal part of growing up, acquiring and consuming alcohol before age 21 is against the law in Illinois. If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, a criminal defense attorney can help you explore your legal options.

Underage Drinking Offenses in Illinois

There are several crimes associated with underage drinking in Illinois. Anyone under age 21 caught purchasing, possessing, or consuming alcohol will have his or her driving privileges suspended for six months for a first offense and 12 months for a second offense. Transporting alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle can result in a one-year suspension of the offender’s driving privileges.

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St. Charles juvenile crime defense attorney

Did you know that a person’s brain is not fully developed until he or she is approximately 25 years old? Scientific research has shown that a teenager’s brain functions differently than an adult brain. This may be one reason why some young people are more likely to make decisions based on emotions or impulses instead of weighing the long-term consequences of their actions. This type of reckless behavior can lead to mistakes that result in being charged with a crime. However, in certain situations, juveniles charged or convicted of criminal offenses may be eligible for a second chance. Criminal record expungement is one way that a teen can clear his or her name and move on to a brighter future after an arrest or a criminal offense.

Some Juvenile Offenses Are Expunged Automatically

Adult offenses and juvenile offenses are treated differently in the Illinois criminal justice system. In some circumstances, a juvenile record is expunged automatically. Illinois offenses that may be automatically expunged one year after the arrest include:

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St. Charles juvenile crimes defense attorney

Adults are not the only ones who make mistakes that could possibly land them inside a courtroom. Minor children can also make judgment errors that lead to criminal charges. For a juvenile, there are many aspects of a criminal case that are different, making it vital that both the defendant and his or her parents understand the process and the potential outcomes. However, it is just as important that the accused juvenile and his or her parents are aware of how they can help, or hurt, the child’s case. Juvenile criminal defense is much different than a defense for an adult, even if they are accused of the same crime.

Speak Openly With Your Lawyer

A juvenile defense attorney will need a lot of information from the defendant in order to help represent him or her in court. While some things may seem inconsequential, such as the juvenile's grades in school or a learning disability, these details could mean the difference between spending time in juvenile detention or being sentenced to community service or behavioral therapy. 

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St. Charles underage drinking defense lawyer

Many people drink alcohol before reaching the legal age of 21. Some parents may let their teenagers try a sip of beer, or a person may have a drink at a party. While this can seem innocent in a safe environment, underage drinking can escalate and quickly become dangerous. Long-term effects of underage drinking include impaired cognitive and physical development, memory and learning problems, increased risk of abusing other substances, and alcohol dependence. Drinking under the age of 21 is a crime in and of itself, but it can also lead to various other crimes with serious consequences.

Juvenile Drinking Crimes

  1. Drinking underage: The first crime is the consumption of alcohol by those under the age of 21. If a law enforcement officer sees the possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21, the legal consequence will be a three-month suspension of driving privileges for court supervision, six months for a first conviction, one year for a second conviction, and license revocation for subsequent convictions.

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