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Archive for the ‘Juvenile crimes’ Category

New Bill Could Lead to More Cases Tried in Juvenile Court

June 13th, 2018 at 4:18 pm

juvenile court, juvenile crimes, juvenile incarceration, probation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyEveryone makes mistakes, but minors and young adults are prone to doing so because they are learning and developing. Of course, mistakes often have consequences, but they should not alter the course of a person’s life.

A new bill introduced by State Representative Laura Fine would let judges decide if misdemeanor cases of 18, 19, and 20-year-olds could be tried in juvenile court, rather than adult court, according to WSIL-TV.

Rep. Fine stated the bill was introduced to focus on misdemeanors to “give kids who make a mistake a second chance.” Science tells us that the brain is not fully developed until around the age of 26. Therefore, a young adult might not be in complete control for his or her crimes. The purpose is to not excuse criminal behavior, but to give the young adult the chance to rehabilitate through juvenile court rather than face the harsher penalties imposed in regular court.

Support for the Bill

This bill has a lot of support from groups like the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Illinois Parent Teachers Associations. These groups claim that younger adults (18-20) are likely to react to certain situations like a teenager. These situations include potential threats, stressful situations, or other emotional situations.

Critics of the Bill

With support also comes opposition. The groups that represent the state’s attorneys, probation officers, and detention officers think trying certain cases in juvenile court is not wise. Their argument is that at the age of 18, a person is able to do many “adult” things, such as vote, serve in the military, etc. Other concerns lie with the costs that might be associated with this change in law. More people who are charged, and subsequently convicted, of misdemeanors equates to more people in beds at juvenile centers, which could have incalculable costs. Finally, there is concern that this bill could be a slippery slope for treating adults as children.

The bill passed through a committee and is currently sitting in the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.

While this bill is not yet law, and could potentially never become law, it brings about an interesting discussion regarding juvenile crime. Individuals need to be held accountable for their crimes, but juveniles and young adults present a fierce debate.

Juvenile crimes have punishments that involve both incarceration and non-incarceration. Incarceration can range from house arrest to adult jail or prison time for more serious offenses. Non-incarceration options include anything from a verbal warning to probation.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a juvenile crime, you need an attorney who is looking out for your best interests. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help. Attorney Cosley understands that kids make mistakes and is committed to getting the juvenile the best possible outcome.

Sources:

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/37683392/young-adults-could-be-tried-in-juvenile-court

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4581&GAID=14&SessionID=91&LegID=109512

Illinois Cracks Down on Underage Drinking

June 11th, 2018 at 7:05 am

DUI charge, fake state IDs, juvenile crimes, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois is 21. That being said, this does not stop individuals under the age of 21 from consuming alcoholic drinks at an alarming rate. Underage drinking is dangerous and can have serious consequences. And, to be sure, there are various crimes a juvenile can be charged with in relation to alcohol — underage drinking, drinking and driving, and the use of a fake ID are just a few of the crimes. Each of these crimes can result in punishment that can greatly affect a young person’s life in the years to come.

Crimes Related to Underage Drinking in Illinois

If you or a loved one has been charged with any of the following crimes in Illinois, it is imperative that you reach out to our legal team immediately:

  • Underage Drinking: It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Illinois law states that the “possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt of alcohol by an individual under the age of 21” results in suspension of driving privileges. The first conviction results in a three-month suspension of driving privileges and court supervision for six months. A second conviction can result in suspension for one year and any other subsequent convictions can result in revocation of a driver’s license.
  • Drinking and Driving: Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. For individuals over the age of 21, driving under the influence occurs with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. For those under the age of 21, any blood alcohol content above a 0.0 can result in a DUI charge. A driver under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system will lose their driving privileges for three months for the first offense.
  • Fake ID: Underage individuals may choose to use fake state IDs or the IDs of others who are over the age of 21. In Illinois, it is a Class A Misdemeanor to display or represent as “one’s own any driver’s license or ID card issued to another person.” Additionally, an individual can be charged for using an ID that is fictitious. Further, the use of a fake ID can also amount to a Class 4 Felony. Possessing a fraudulent Illinois ID card or driver’s license is just one other way to elevate the crime to a felony.   

Not only can an underage person face charges relating to underage alcohol consumption or fake identification, but those who supply alcohol to a minor, or provide a fake ID, can also be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Let Our Attorneys Help You Today

Attorney Christopher M. Cosley is available to help you with any underage drinking issues that may arise. He understands that kids make mistakes and those mistakes should not affect them for the rest of their adult life. Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley works hard to give the best possible defense under the circumstances. Do not let one bad choice as a juvenile follow you for the rest of your life. Contact us for a consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/education/pages/under21laws.aspx

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

What is the Process for Expunging a Juvenile Record in Illinois?

April 11th, 2018 at 6:49 am

expungement, juvenile crimes, juvenile detention centers, juvenile records, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyChildhood should be a time of growth and learning. Unfortunately for some children, their childhood is spent in and out of courthouses and juvenile detention centers. The premise behind rehabilitating those who commit crimes is to give them a second chance in life. With this thought in mind, who deserves a second shot more than a child?

A juvenile is someone who is under the age of 18. Each time a person is arrested, a record is created and consists of a police report, computer database reports, or any other court document that is created in connection with the arrest or charge. All law enforcement and court records with cases involving juveniles are sealed.

A sealed record means that most people are not able to view the records, as they may be able to with adult records. Even though the records are sealed, there are various instances where potential employers could see the records. However, one way to avoid sealed records being seen is through a process called expungement.

What is Expungement?

An expungement is a court-ordered process through which a record is essentially erased in the eyes of the law. After a record is expunged, a person will usually not have to disclose an arrest or convictions on a job application, or other situations in which criminal records are disclosed or a background check is run.

Certain juvenile records are automatically expunged. First, arrests that did not result in conviction are automatically expunged after one year. However, there cannot be any other arrests or charges within the six months before the expungement occurs. Additionally, arrests and court records are expunged when they result in a dismissal, finding of no delinquency, supervision that is terminated successfully, guilty verdicts of Class B or C misdemeanors, petty business offenses, and guilty verdicts for Class A misdemeanors or non-violent felonies.

In the case of the Class A misdemeanors or non-violent felonies, the expungement will happen two years after the case is closed. Additionally, there must be no other pending cases or guilty findings.

Automatic expungements do not occur for every juvenile crime. In the event that there is no automatic expungement, there are paths to trying to get expungement. You must file a petition with the court and attend a hearing in front of an appointed judge. Law enforcement or the state’s attorney has 45 days to object to the expungement. The hearing takes place after the 45-day period.

Contact Us Today for Legal Assistance Today

If you have a child with a juvenile record, or you have a prior juvenile record that needs expunged, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has a proven track record representing juvenile clients. Let us help you throughout each step of your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=070504050K5-915

Will a 15-Year-Old Illinois Teen Accused of Murder be Tried as an Adult?

November 3rd, 2017 at 8:04 am

accused of murder, criminal juvenile defendants, juvenile court, juvenile justice system, Rolling Meadows juvenile crime attorneyIn Illinois, we have a juvenile justice system that handles most criminal offenses involving minors (i.e. individuals who are less than 18 years old) and a separate justice system that adjudicates criminal cases involving adult defendants. However, under some limited circumstances a judge will decide that a particular minor should be tried as an adult and will transfer his or her case out of the juvenile system and into the adult system. This is exactly what may happen to a 15-year-old Illinois teen accused of committing first-degree murder.

KWQC TV6 reports that the girl turned 15 just three days before she allegedly murdered her mother. Under Illinois state law a minor who has been charged with first-degree murder will not have his or her case automatically transferred into adult court if he or she is less than 16 years old; however, the possibility of being tried as an adult is still not off the table for Ms. Schroeder.

When Can Minors Be Tried as Adults in Illinois?

Generally speaking, a minor who is accused of committing a criminal offense before his or her 18th birthday will have their case heard in juvenile court. However, the Illinois Juvenile Court Act provides that a minor who is 15, 16, or 17 years old may have their case transferred into the adult justice system and be tried as an adult if the individual is charged with one or more of the serious crimes enumerated under the Act.

The Juvenile Court Act, along with House Bill 3718 (which was signed into law just two years ago), prevents criminal juvenile defendants who are 15 years old from automatically being transferred into the adult system and limits the transfer of minors aged 16 and 17 to only those accused of committing very serious crimes (such as first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated vehicular hijacking, etc.).

How Does the Juvenile Justice System Differ From the Adult System?

The juvenile justice system differs from the adult system in a number of important ways including the following:

  • In the juvenile system defendants are required to be represented by an attorney,
  • Sentencing in the adult system generally focuses on punishment while sentencing in the juvenile system predominantly focuses on rehabilitation,
  • In the juvenile system defendants are not afforded the right to a public trial by jury, and
  • Juvenile adjudication hearings are generally much more informal than criminal trials conducted in adult court.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you are a minor who has recently had a run-in with the law, or if you are the parent or legal guardian of such a minor, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley with any questions that you may have. Attorney Chris Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile crime attorney who is committed to protecting the rights and futures of his juvenile clients. Contact the office today for help.

Source:

http://www.kwqc.com/content/news/TV-6-Investigates-Illinois-changed-juvenile-transfer-law-449512603.html

FAQs About the Juvenile Justice System

September 4th, 2017 at 10:01 am

juvenile charges, juvenile crimes, juvenile justice system, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerRoughly 100 years ago a juvenile justice system was established in the United States in order to divert young offenders away from the standard criminal justice system and into an alternative system focused on rehabilitation. Today the juvenile justice system still places great importance on rehabilitation. Yet nowadays the system also focuses on punishment, accountability, and promoting public safety as well.

It is also important to note that today each state has it has own juvenile justice system and that each of these 51 systems embraces slightly different objective and operates slightly differently. Therefore, any case specific questions relating to the juvenile justice system in Illinois should be directed to a local juvenile charges defense lawyer. Still, some frequently asked questions about the juvenile justice system at large have been answered below.

Q: How does the juvenile justice system differ from adult courts?

A: The Illinois juvenile justice system differs from adult courts in a number of different ways but some notable difference include the following:

  • In the juvenile system, offenders are not prosecuted for committing “crimes” but are charged with “delinquent acts” instead;
  • Juveniles do not have a public trial but instead have a private adjudication hearing;
  • When a judge in the juvenile system is determining what steps should be taken after a minor is deemed to be delinquent the minor’s best interests are taken into account;
  • Juvenile adjudication hearings are much more informal than trials conducted in the adult system; and
  • The juvenile system embraces alternative sentences (such as parole, probation, diversionary programs, etc.) in cases where the adult system likely would not.

Q: Who can be tried as a juvenile in Illinois?

A: Generally speaking, a juvenile who commits a crime in Illinois before his or her 18th birthday will be tried in the juvenile system. However, under Illinois’ Juvenile Court Act minors who are 15, 16, or 17 years old may be tried as an adult if they are charged with certain serious crimes such as first degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated sexual assault, etc.

Q: Are juvenile delinquency hearings confidential?

A: Here in Illinois, juvenile delinquency hearings are presumptively closed.

Q: Can juvenile records be expunged in Illinois?

A: Juvenile records in Illinois are sealed when the offender becomes an adult. This means that certain entities (such as most potential employers) will not have access to the record, however, other entities (such as law enforcement organizations and the military) will be able to view it. However, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission notes that an Illinois juvenile record can be expunged if the offender is at least 17 years old (or 18 if the record contains a misdemeanor offense) and the youth:

  • Was arrested but not charged;
  • Was charged but not found to be delinquent;
  • Completed court supervision; or
  • Was found delinquent for a business offense, a petty offense, or a misdemeanor offense.

Additionally, some juvenile felony records can also be expunged, however some can not. Whether or not a felony juvenile record can be expunged is highly case specific, so be sure to direct questions about expunging a juvenile felony record to a local juvenile charges defense attorney.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Juvenile Charges Defense Attorney

If your child has had a run in with the law in Illinois you likely have a lot of questions. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys would be happy to answer your questions and advise you of your child’s legal options during an initial consultation at our office.

Source:

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/IL_Juvenile_Justice_System_Walkthrough_0810.pdf

Minors Caught With Alcohol in Illinois

August 21st, 2017 at 7:15 am

legal drinking age, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, unlawful consumption of alcohol, minors caught with alcohol, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois, and throughout the United States, is 21. However, it is also illegal for those under 21 to even just possess alcohol in Illinois. Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor are related, yet distinct, crimes in Illinois.

Unlawful Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Illinois’ Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/1 et seq.) it is illegal for an individual who is under 21 years of age to possess alcohol. But what does it mean, in a legal sense, to “possess” something?

In this case, alcohol can be possessed either physically or constructively. Physical possession essentially means holding a container with alcohol in it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that you have both the intent as well as the ability to control the alcohol.

Therefore, if you have a six-pack of beer in the trunk of your car, a court would likely find that you have constructive possession of the alcohol.

Unlawful Possession Penalties

Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

In Illinois it is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Please keep in mind that it is therefore technically illegal for an underage person to have even a sip of alcohol.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that this law prohibits those who are underage from being drunk or from having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. However, this is not the case. Remember, in Illinois, it is illegal for an underage individual to consume any amount of alcohol.

Unlawful Consumption Penalties

Unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Exceptions

It should be noted that there are two limited exceptions to the underage alcohol laws outlined above. Under code section 235 ILCS 5/6-20(g), people under 21 years of age can legally possess and/or consume alcohol in Illinois either (1) during the performance of a religious service or ceremony, or (2) while in a private home under the direct supervision of their parent (or a person standing in loco parentis).

Let Us Assist You Today

If your child has been charged with unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor in Illinois, the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help. Our firm defends both minors and juveniles against a wide variety of alcohol related offenses and would be happy to assist you.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1404&ChapterID=26

The Ramifications of Illinois Minor in Possession Charges

July 12th, 2017 at 7:00 am

Class A misdemeanor, juvenile crimes, minor in possession, Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney, underage drinkingFor good or ill, underage drinking is a rite of passage for many young people, though it often leads to legal trouble for those involved.  While such issues are commonly seen as youthful peccadilloes, in reality an underage drinking issue can affect a young adult’s future in a significant manner.

If a parent or authority figure becomes aware of minor in possession charges entered against a son, daughter or ward, it is incumbent upon both them and the young adult to become aware of the potential consequences if convicted of such a charge.

Restrictions & Exceptions

Illinois has very strict regulations regarding minors caught with alcohol. Generally, if one is under the age of 21, it is illegal to either possess or consume alcohol. If they are observed doing so in public or in ‘a place open to the public,’ they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious class of non-felony offense, and under Illinois law it is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail (not prison—the distinction is fine but important to observe).  

The law does state that a minor may legally consume alcohol at home—thus, not in a public place —without repercussions if they have the approval and direct supervision of a parent (or anyone standing in those proverbial shoes).  Other exceptions do also exist under the relevant statute; however, they are few in number and quite rare to encounter or experience.

One, for example, is that minors may possess or consume alcohol as part of religious ceremonies. While this is a clear-cut exception, it is one that applies to a significant minority of young people caught indulging in alcohol. Most of the time, the absolutist logic of the statute itself will apply—if a minor is caught consuming or possessing alcohol in public, then he or she will almost always be charged with that Class A misdemeanor.

Alternatives to Jail Time

While the majority of defendants in minor possession cases will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, it does not mean that the majority will be convicted of such an offense. Judges also have considerable leeway to impose alternative sentences or add extra requirements that a convicted minor must fulfill. It is, however, required that the defendant be informed of the possible maximum sentence so as to ensure that any guilty plea is voluntary—if the defendant was not specifically informed and still pled guilty, receiving a sentence of jail time, it would open up the possibility of appeal based on lack of understanding of the potential consequences.

In terms of alternative sentences or additional penalties imposed, the most common choices are community service (as opposed to jail time) and court supervision or probation. Supervision in particular tends to be favored for first-time offenders, as successful completion of the supervision period without any further legal trouble leads to a dismissal of the charges and no permanent indication on the defendant’s criminal record.

Consult a Knowledgeable Juvenile Crimes Attorney

Very often, episodes of underage drinking are met with nostalgia or minimizing by friends and family. However, the law does not share such an indulgent view. The passionate Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley will fight for you and do our best to achieve a fair outcome. Contact our offices today to set up an initial appointment.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

My Teen Has Been Arrested. Now What?

June 19th, 2017 at 2:37 pm

juvenile crimes, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, teen has been arrested, juvenile criminal case, criminal convictionRaising children can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging parts of adult life. Our children go out into the world as extensions of ourselves, and as parents we constantly worry about their safety and how we can keep them out of trouble. We even attempt to plan ahead for any potential issues that may arise—we teach our children the difference between right and wrong and instill moral values. Still, bad decisions are made.

Decisions can Become Criminal in a Split Second

It only takes a moment for an otherwise thoughtful and law abiding teen to make a decision that can change the rest of his or her life. According to federal records in 2010, 1.6 million juveniles were arrested. Recent governmental research suggests that nearly 30.2 percent of American citizens will be arrested by the time they are 23 years of age.

The most common types of juvenile criminal cases involve the following:

These crimes do not make our teens bad people. However, they may land our loved ones in trouble with the law—loved ones who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Children may succumb to peer pressure without understanding the dire consequences that they are risking with their future. One bad decision does not have to, nor should it, relegate our youth to an entire life of crime.

Police Interaction With Our Children

For many parents who are trying to protect the interests of their children once they have been arrested, the most shocking development is that there are little national procedural standards for how police officers interact with minors once they have been arrested.

Police officers are required to notify a minor’s parents in a reasonable time after he or she has been arrested. Moreover, police are required to inform a minor’s parents of the nature of the charge as well as the next proposed steps that law enforcement will take in the case.

In the majority of instances, police will allow a parent to be present during an official interrogation. However, federally, there is no guarantee that protects a parent’s right to be present during a federal investigation inquiry.

Despite not having a constitutionally protected right to be present at your minor child’s interrogation, your minor does have a right to have a lawyer present during questioning. Additionally, at any time during the investigation, if your child asks for a lawyer, then the interview must end.

The most important step you can take to help your minor child who has been arrested to enlist the help of a talented Illinois criminal defense lawyer.

Erect Your Defense Immediately

Criminal investigations are fraught with peril. The government has extensive resources and the advantage of knowing their intentions. A criminal conviction for a juvenile can have disastrous effects on his or her future. It may affect the juvenile’s ability to gain employment, take advantage of certain governmental programs, or be able to secure a professional license. Contact our skilled and relentless Rolling Meadows juvenile criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Call 847-394-3200.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=50&ActID=1863

10-Year-Olds and Juvenile Detention

June 2nd, 2017 at 11:37 am

juvenile detention, Rolling MeadowsA sweeping wave of legislation aimed at restructuring the juvenile criminal system in Illinois has taken hold. Many lawmakers and civil rights activists nationwide are advocating for less punitive sentences for minors who are ensnared in the criminal justice system.

Minors and Juvenile Detention

Illinois law demands that the minimum age that a child can be held in a juvenile detention center is 10. The nationwide regulation is 13, as recommended by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative—a Maryland-based private philanthropy foundation. The minimum age in Illinois to serve time in a juvenile state prison, as opposed to juvenile detention, is 13.

Illinois lawmakers and juvenile justice advocates are arguing that the age required to be detained in a juvenile detention center should be raised to 13. It seems unlikely that a bill would pass, however, without language carving out an exception for certain classifications of felonies. Advocates of raising the age to 13 argue that adding an exception would ruin the intent of the bill.

Juvenile detention centers operate much like jails except for minor children. Illinois law prevents, in most cases, a minor from spending over 30 days at a time in a juvenile detention center. However, there are cases where children fall through the cracks and spend longer periods of time in a juvenile detention center, especially when mental health issues exist.

Why Lawmakers Want to Keep 10-Year-Olds Out of Juvenile Detention

It is settled science that a child’s decision-making ability is different and less developed than that of an adult. Elizabeth Clarke, President of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, is quoted as arguing that locking away a child, who many times has never been away from home for any period of time, is extremely detrimental to that child and can cause life long issues.

For 16 years, supporters of criminal justice reform have pursued legislation that would curb the number of children ending up in juvenile prisons. There has been little progress regarding the detention of elementary school aged children. On the forefront of this initiative is the Juvenile Redeploy program. Since the inception of the Juvenile Redeploy program, there has been a notable decline of juveniles being imprisoned and detained.

Rolling Meadows Juvenile Criminal Defense

A juvenile conviction may not seem as severe as an adult conviction, but the consequences can be extensive. A skilled and experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile criminal defense lawyer will be integral to you securing the best possible outcome for your case. Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 or visit www.cosleycriminaldefense.com to schedule a consultation today.

Source:

http://nprillinois.org/post/illinois-issues-should-10-year-old-kids-be-kept-juvenile-detention#stream/0

Juvenile Crime Law: Give Our Kids a Chance in 2017

May 22nd, 2017 at 8:50 am

juvenile crime law, juvenile criminal offenses-Rolling Meadows Criminal Law AttorneyWith the signing of State Bill 2777, it is now prohibited for a juvenile to be committed to a juvenile detention center for a crime that is not a felony, and even for some nonviolent felonies. This change in the law comes as a sweeping initiative is taking hold in the Illinois legislature, moving away from the tough on crime policies that have caused an exploding prison population in Illinois.

“There has been a recognition that our system of justice needs to be more just and less retribution-focused,” said Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove.” This is coming as bi-partisan efforts to keep our children out of the prison system have begun to take hold in our criminal justice system.

Which Juvenile Crimes Does This New Law Effect?

The new law effects juveniles who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes. Misdemeanor crimes include misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, simple battery, and trespassing.   

Why Now?

Illinois lawmakers have been grappling with the rising population of juveniles who go from juvenile detention centers directly into adult detention centers. Juveniles who are sentenced for misdemeanor crimes, and find themselves becoming adult offenders without having a meaningful opportunity to rejoin society, have a high societal cost and an extremely heavy financial burden on the state of Illinois.

Lawmakers have anticipated that the new change in the law will save approximately $4.5 million dollars that the state of Illinois must pay to house the 110 kids that are admitted to juvenile detention centers, on average, every year.

Is That the Only Juvenile Criminal Law That Has Changed?

House Bill 6291 is another law that changed in 2017. This change in the law prohibits a juvenile from being committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for certain controlled substance violations unless it is his or her third or subsequent judicial finding of a probation violation.

Another goal of this bill is to change the minimum probation period for youths who have been adjudicated delinquent. “We need to approach our criminal justice system with more compassion,” said Illinois Governor Rauner.” It is time the state starts treating our youth who struggle with addiction with various treatment programs instead of sending them to jail.

Do I Still Need a Lawyer?

Even with the changes in the law, it is still important to have dedicated and experienced legal counsel on your side when you have been arrested and charged with a crime. Contact your experienced Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200.

Sources:

https://www.riverbender.com/articles/details/rauner-signs-bills-to-further-reforms-to-illinois-criminal-justice-system-14779.cfm#.WP_EqtLytqM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-juvenile-justice-new-laws-met-20151230-story.html

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