We all know that young people — especially teenagers — can get themselves into trouble. In some cases, a minor could even end up facing serious criminal charges. Notably, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports that U.S. criminal courts handle approximately one million juvenile cases every year.
Few people believe that locking a child up in an adult correctional facility is the right way to handle these cases. In Illinois, the juvenile justice system focuses on getting young people out of trouble, into school, and back on the right path. Still, all criminal cases must be taken seriously. If your child or younger loved one was arrested in Illinois, you should contact an experienced Chicago juvenile defense attorney immediately.
Rehabilitation is Strongly Favored for Juvenile Offenders
As a starting point, parents should know that rehabilitation is strongly favored over punishment in the Illinois juvenile justice system. For youthful offenders, particularly those who are 16 years old or younger, there are many rehabilitative programs available that are simply not offered to adults. In addition to more programs to avoid incarceration, it is also far easier for juveniles to eventually seal and/or expunge all criminal records.
Exploring Pre-Trial Intervention Options
As explained by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC), there are a number of different pre-trial intervention initiatives aimed squarely at youthful offenders. For young people facing criminal charges, they need to get into the right program before their case goes to court. It is crucial that a teenager who is in trouble gets access to the help and resources needed to grow and to thrive. Often, a ‘diversion’ alternative can be structured to help a teenager avoid facing criminal penalties.
How a Chicago Defense Attorney Can Help
Our Chicago criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience representing minors facing a wide range of criminal charges. This includes everything from relatively mild misdemeanors — such as using a fake ID — to serious and violent felony cases. No matter the specific circumstances of your case, our legal team is here to help. We firmly believe that a youthful indiscretion should not ruin your child’s life or damage his or her future.
Speak to a Chicago Juvenile Defense Lawyer Today
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, our top-rated Illinois criminal defense lawyer is a compassionate, attentive advocate for youthful offenders. If your child was arrested and charged with a criminal offense, we are here to help. For a confidential consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today. With offices in Chicago and Skokie, we represent defendants in Cook County and throughout Northern Illinois.