Juvenile Justice Lawyer
Juvenile Attorney Illinois
Juvenile Attorney in Illinois. There are few things worse for a parent than getting a phone call that police are detaining your child. At Drummond Law, our juvenile attorney team in Illinois understands the fear and uncertainty that you and your child are feeling right now. We are here to take your case and fight for your family to ensure the consequences of being arrested are minimal and your child’s future gets back on track. With the help of a skilled and passionate juvenile attorney, this will not be something that will follow them for the rest of their life. Call a Drummond Law juvenile attorney today at 217-388-1103 or contact us online for a free case review.
Common Youth Offenses A Juvenile Attorney Can Help With
We can help your child with defense in any sort of case, but the most common cases our juvenile attorney team in Illinois sees are:
- Assault and battery if they’ve gotten in a fight
- Traffic violations such as DUIs
- Drug crimes such as possession or intention to sell
- Other misdemeanors such as trespassing, shoplifting or vandalism
Whatever the charges, your Drummond Law juvenile attorney works together with you and your child to develop a defense strategy to mitigate the punishments they face.
Parental and Juvenile Rights
Juveniles have the same rights as adults regarding the Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment and having a lawyer present. When a minor is arrested or detained, the police are required to make a reasonable attempt to contact a parent or guardian, even if they are just being questioned as a witness to a crime. As a parent or guardian, you have a right to be present at any questioning.
How Juvenile Court Works | Juvenile Attorney Illinois
The procedures for juvenile courts in Illinois are laid out in the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1987:
Once a minor is taken into custody, the police must send them to an officer specially trained in juvenile cases. That officer can decide to give your child a formal or informal station adjustment as an alternative to formally charging them. The minor must then comply with various requirements, such as attending school, abiding by a curfew or performing community service.
If the police decide to charge the juvenile, they will send the case to Illinois State’s Attorney, who has two options. They can either charge your child formally with a delinquency petition or decide to dismiss the case as long as certain requirements are met.
If the state proceeds with charges, the minor will have a pre-trial hearing, where they can plead guilty or not guilty. It is vital to have an experienced and dedicated Illinois juvenile attorney at this stage, as we can try to have the charges dismissed or explore the option of a plea deal with the prosecution that will minimize the effects of any charges and get your child out of the courtroom quickly and avoid a trial.
If the case does go to trial, it will likely be decided by a judge in what’s called an “adjucation hearing,” as minors generally do not have the same right to a jury trial as adults, although some exceptions do apply. At this stage, a Drummond Law juvenile attorney will vigorously defend your child in an effort to instill doubt into the judge that they committed the crime.
If a guilty plea is made, or a juvenile is found guilty, they are not technically convicted of a crime but rather considered an adjucated delinquent.
The judge will then sentence the juvenile based on the nature of the crime, their age, any history of abuse and other mitigating factors. The judge can decide on a sentence of supervision, house arrest, probation, residential treatment centers or a juvenile detention center.
Can a Juvenile Attorney Help If My Child Is Tried As An Adult?
Generally speaking, anybody under the age of 18 will go through the juvenile court system. A minor will only go directly to adult court if they are 16 or 17 and have been arrested for:
- First-degree murder
- Aggravated battery with a firearm (if the firearm was not discharged, they might still go to juvenile court)
- Aggravated sexual assault
Prosecutors often try to try minors 15 and under as adults, but they must go through the juvenile court system first and a judge will make a determination based on:
- The mental capacity, mental health and/or educational history of the minor
- Their level of participation in the crime
- Their past criminal record
- Their home and family life
Sentences are usually much harsher for adult crimes. Furthermore, while crimes committed by a minor are removed from their record after two years, being convicted as an adult means the conviction goes on a criminal record that will follow your child for the rest of their life. That could seriously affect their employment prospects, who will rent a home to them and their access to higher education. While courts are often wary of taking kids away from their family, many prosecutors in Illinois are over-ambitious when it comes to bringing charges and seeking sentences. That’s why you need an ethical, experienced and tenacious juvenile attorney to fight for you and your family and ensure that your child’s rights and future are protected.
If your child has already been convicted as an adult, our juvenile attorney team can also assist with expungement or record sealing services.
Call Drummond Law For an Experienced, Dedicated and Compassionate Illinois Juvenile Attorney
It can be terrifying any time your child is in trouble with the law or detained by police. You’re worried about their future and reputation, and you may even have to deal with the Department of Children and Family Services. Every Drummond Law juvenile attorney understands that this is a sensitive and challenging time. We’ll approach your child’s case with the empathy and discretion you need while employing the full force of a dedicated and tenacious legal team to achieve the best possible outcome. Call a Drummond Law juvenile attorney today at 217-388-1103 or contact us online for a free consultation.