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Juvenile Offenders: Wearing Restraints During Court Appearances in Illinois

January 4th, 2017 at 1:31 pm

juvenile offenders, Rolling Meadows Juvenile Matters LawyerAll too many Illinois juveniles end up in the hands of the law after committing minor offenses. A minor might get caught in possession of marijuana, or prescription drugs, or might get arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Minors often wind up in trouble for theft and are charged with shoplifting, robbery and criminal trespassing.

Minors who are arrested and charged with these offenses have to be booked in to jail and then make an appearance in court. Juveniles who are charged with offenses need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience in juvenile matters.

One of the most upsetting and often embarrassing aspects of a juvenile’s court appearance for a criminal matter is having to appear before a judge in shackles. For nearly 30 years it has been customary for juveniles to wear restraints when making a court appearance, regardless of the nature of their alleged crime. The thought process behind this protocol is that it promotes courtroom safety and can protect the juvenile from hurting themselves and others. Minors often feel intimidated and humiliated by the experience, and what makes it worse is if the accused minor is actually innocent.

New Rule Changes Affect When Juveniles Are Shackled in Court

A new rule and an amendment to an existing rule are changing how juvenile cases are handled in court. These changes were largely supported by state and national juvenile advocacy groups. The new rules grant judges the authority to make decisions about whether low-level juvenile offenders really need to be marched into the courtroom while wearing restraints.

Supreme Court Rule 943, which was adopted on November 1, 2016, provides that juveniles who are minor offenders will not need to make their court appearances in shackles or restraints unless the judge has made a decision that such restraints are necessary to prevent harm, or reduce the risk of flight, or if the juvenile has a history of disruptive behavior. The judge’s decision must be made after a hearing has taken place on the issue. Amendments to Supreme Court Rule 941 make it so that these new rules regarding the shackling of juveniles apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings.

A case-by-case assessment of whether restraints are appropriate in any given case seems like a more logical approach to this issue. Twenty-three other states, and Washington D.C., have all adopted similar rules to address this issue as well.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Juvenile charges are serious and they can make a lasting impression on a young person who made a mistake. Juveniles end up in all kinds of trouble and when they do it is important to seek guidance and advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. If someone you love is a minor who has committed a criminal offense, please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows juvenile matters lawyer immediately.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/supremecourt/public_hearings/rules/2016/070816_Proposal_15-05.pdf

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Written by Staff Writer

January 4th, 2017 at 1:31 pm

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