Tag Archives: juvenile crime

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 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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Naperville criminal defense attorney, juvenile defense, juvenile crime, juvenile justice system, juvenile justice system,Young men and women make mistakes. This is simply a part of growing up for many individuals. But when a teenager’s mistake results in an arrest, he or she can face life-changing penalties like large fines and incarceration. In this type of situation, it is in the teen’s best interest to start working with an experienced juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Stay Calm 

Hearing that your child has been arrested can be earth-shattering. Despite how you feel about the arrest, you need to stay calm and think logically. You child has been arrested, not found guilty. During the initial contact after your child’s arrest, assure him or her of his or her rights and responsibilities, such as the responsibility to be cooperative and polite with police, but the right to refuse to answer questions without a lawyer present. 

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Naperville criminal defense attorneys, online crimes, Internet crimesIn Illinois, lawmakers are considering a series of bills aimed at helping law enforcement officials more easily police and investigate online crimes. One such law, Senate Bill 2871, would prohibit juveniles charged with crimes from accessing their social media accounts before trial or during sentencing. Though the bill has received initial support, many have voiced concerns over its potential impact on the privacy rights of youths and their families.

Senate Bill 2871

If passed, Senate Bill 2871 would allow judges to hold pretrial hearings in order to determine whether a juvenile charged with a crime should be permitted to have access to his or her social media accounts immediately prior to trial and through the sentencing process. Furthermore, courts would also be granted the discretion to require juvenile offenders to give law enforcement officials and probation officers access to their online accounts. Youths would also be required to remove any depictions of firearms or dangerous weapons from all of their social media accounts. Theoretically, the law would allow police officers to search the online history of juvenile offenders in an effort to find information relevant to the crime.

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