Tag Archives: Illinois juvenile crime laws

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 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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Illinois criminal defense attorneys

While it is widely known teens can be tried as adults in murder cases, they are sometimes tried in adult courts for drug violations or other crimes as well. Illinois is one of nine states in which anyone 15 years old and over could be automatically charged as an adult for certain drug-related crimes. 

Illinois also operates under a “once-an-adult, always-an-adult” law, meaning that if a juvenile has been charged as an adult on any crime in the past, they will be tried as an adult in every subsequent crime that he or she commits. It makes no difference what the crime is in this situation.

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Rauner Signs Criminal Justice Reform BillsIn an increasingly rare show of bipartisan agreement, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a number of bills into law that are intended to bolster the state’s effort to reform existing Illinois criminal justice laws, especially with respect to juveniles. Citing a need to help individuals gain a second chance at becoming productive citizens and avoiding a cycle of incarceration, Rauner acknowledged the fact that most crime is attributable to factors such as mental illness, addiction, and a lack of basic job skills or training. As a result, Rauner characterized these reforms as a more compassionate view of the criminal justice system designed to focus on rehabilitation in order to prevent recidivism and promote reunification of families.

SB 3164

SB 3164 requires that prior to sentencing, courts must review presentencing reports and provide an explanation as to why incarceration is appropriate for offenders with no prior probation sentences or prison convictions. The Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform recommended this reform based on the fact that in 2015, almost 60% of new prison admissions for Class 3 or Class 4 felonies had no prior violent crime convictions. The standard sentences of incarceration for low-level offenders is an inefficient use of prison resource and can even make these offenders more likely to reoffend in the future.

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Illinois juvenile crimes lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,Adolescents are notorious for making decisions that they later come to regret. Unfortunately, when those decisions have legal repercussions, regret and reformation may not result in the individual getting a clean slate. Criminal records from prior years as a misbehaving teenager can have severe personal and professional consequences, even for rehabilitated one-time offenders. A new law, effective this year, works to limit the negative effects of juvenile records in employment and education by requiring that, if the case meets certain guidelines, the records be expunged.

The Law

The new law, which became effective at the beginning of the year, amends an older statute concerning the destruction of juvenile records. Previously, those with juvenile records could petition the court for expungement, or destruction, of the records only for certain lower-level misdemeanors. A petition could be made after the person turned 18, or when all juvenile court proceedings had ended, whichever was later.

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