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Archive for the ‘juvenile justice system’ tag

Common Questions About the Juvenile Justice System in Illinois

February 19th, 2020 at 3:47 pm

IL juvenile justice system, IL defense lawyer, IL juvenile attorney, When children get into trouble with the law and face common charges such as retail theft, parents often do not know what will happen next, or what rights their child has. They have a lot of questions and, if your child has recently been charged with a crime, it is likely that you have asked them, as well. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the juvenile justice system in Illinois, and the answers to them.

What is the Age of a Juvenile?

In Illinois, anyone that is 17 years old or younger is considered a juvenile if they have been charged with a misdemeanor offense. This law was changed in January of 2010 to increase the age from 16 to 17. The age limit for juveniles is a topic the Illinois legislature continues to debate.

How Long Can My Child be Detained After an Arrest?

The length of time a child is held in custody after being arrested for a crime can seem interminable to parents. If your child is under the age of 12, law enforcement can detain them for no longer than six hours. Children between the age of 12 and 17 can be kept up to 12 hours if they have been accused of committing a non-violent crime, and up to 24 hours if they have been charged with a violent crime.

Can Police Question My Child if I am Not Present?

There is a widely held misconception in Illinois that law enforcement are prohibited from questioning a juvenile without one of the child’s parents being present. This is not true. After a child’s arrest, law enforcement must make reasonable attempts to contact at least one of the child’s parents. If they do not reach you, they can contact another responsible adult to be present.

Although police must make this attempt, they are not required to wait until your arrival to begin questioning your child. They also do not require your permission to question your child. However, a youth officer must be present.

Will My Child be Tried in Adult Court?

Of all the questions asked about the juvenile system in Illinois, this is perhaps the one parents ask the most. Being tried in adult court is, of course, the worst-case scenario since a conviction will have harsher sentences and can result in a minor spending time in prison with adults.

Whether or not a juvenile is tried in adult court largely depends on the nature of the alleged crime. When a minor is accused of a misdemeanor crime and is 17 years old or younger, they will most likely be tried in juvenile court. Minors accused of committing a felony offense will usually remain in the juvenile system only if they are 16 years old or younger.

Is Your Child Facing Charges? Call Our Illinois Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Learning that your child has been charged with a crime is an incredibly upsetting experience. You are feeling anger, frustration, and sadness, and likely also have many questions about what will happen next. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer can answer them all. Attorney Cosley has extensive experience with the juvenile justice system in Illinois. He understands how to navigate it to give you and your child the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/raising-age-fact-sheet

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

Juvenile Justice System: Some Juveniles Are Tried as Adults in Illinois

April 16th, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinios juvenile crime attorney, We have two different systems in Illinois that deal with criminal justice: one for adults and one for juveniles under the age of 18. Cook County was one of the first places in the country to do this, realizing that children, by their very nature, are capable of changing their nature. Their brains, including their ability to control their impulses, are not fully developed, so they are not as culpable for their bad actions as their older counterparts. Unfortunately, some of these young people in Illinois are treated as adults despite the fact that this treatment is not supported by science.

The Juvenile Justice System in Illinois

The treatment of juveniles accused of crimes is covered in Illinois by the Juvenile Court Act. One of the goals of the act is supposed to be to provide individualized assessments and adjudications in juvenile cases with the goal of rehabilitation and preventing future delinquent behavior by juveniles. This can involve detention in some circumstances, but also involves diversion programs. In other words, unlike criminal prosecutions that are based almost exclusively on the ideas of punishment, revenge, and isolation of offenders from society, the juvenile system exists so as to change childhood bad behavior so that young people may improve their behavior and work well in society. The children found responsible for crimes under the juvenile system face a different punishment system from their adult counterparts, and they have stronger privacy rights including the ability to have their records shielded from public view.

Some Juvenile Offenders are Forced into the Adult System

Unfortunately, some of the most troubled juvenile offenders do not receive the benefit of the juvenile system. A portion of the Juvenile Court Act excludes certain minors from the protections of the law. Minors aged 15, 16, or 17 may not be judged in the juvenile system if they are accused of certain crimes. These crimes include first degree murder, aggravated sexual assault, certain types of aggravated battery with a firearm, armed robbery committed with a firearm, and aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm. In all fairness, these crimes are some of the most serious violent crimes on the books. But, while the crimes may be more serious, this does not indicate in anyway that the minors committing them are somehow more mature and developed than their peers who are committing less serious felonies like burglary or selling drugs. If anything, committing these sorts of crimes may demonstrate that a particular young person is not fully matured and does not yet have the impulse control of an adult.

Particularly troubling, however, is the sentencing for these crimes. If a young person charged with his or her first burglary were charged as adult, which cannot happen, the worst case scenario would involve the minor spending a few years in confinement. But when a 15-year-old is prosecuted as an adult for one of the serious charges mentioned in the previous paragraph, he or she faces sentences that are often so long that they act as de facto life sentences.

As a society we need to reconsider allowing juveniles to be tried as adults in criminal court. But in the meantime both juveniles and their parents need to understand the serious adult consequences they could face if charged with certain crimes.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If your child has been charged with a crime, you will need an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile criminal defense attorney. This is especially true if your child is charged as an adult. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200.

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