Making errors is part of growing up, and sadly, some of those errors can result in run-ins with law enforcement. Judgments of juvenile delinquency, while generally not considered criminal convictions in Illinois, can still have impacts that persist into your adult life. If you have a juvenile record, it’s essential to understand how those consequences can affect you and what you may be able to do to avoid them through expungement.
In Illinois, juveniles can be accused of crimes just like adults can – and minors can benefit from working with a juvenile crimes attorney in Chicago who’s looking out for their best interests.
What Happens if a Juvenile Breaks a Criminal Law in Illinois?
Because the laws are generally written – they apply to everyone, no matter how old – Illinois has a different set of potential punishments for minors. If the court says that a child needs to be confined, they have these sentencing options:
- Adult jail or prison
- House arrest
- Juvenile detention
- Removal from their house
- A secured facility (such as a boot camp or something comparable)
Some children convicted of crimes get sentences that don’t involve confinement, such as:
- Community service
- Electronic monitoring
Not all minors are tried as juveniles, though; some are tried as adults, which you’ll need to talk about with your child’s lawyer.
Who’s Considered a Juvenile?
An individual’s juvenile status in the court system depends on the type of offense the person is accused of committing and their age
What About Misdemeanors?
A defendant is deemed a juvenile if the alleged misdemeanor happened when they were 17 or younger.
A defendant is deemed a juvenile if the alleged felony occurred when they were 16 or younger.
Having Your Juvenile Record Expunged in Illinois
It is possible to petition for the expungement of many juvenile records. Upon your 18th birthday or the conclusion of any juvenile court proceedings against you, you may be qualified to expunge records of arrests and charges if:
- They didn’t result in a judgment of delinquency
- You finished orders of court supervision
- Your judgment was comparable to a Class B or C misdemeanor or petty crime
After age 21 or five years after your latest juvenile court proceeding, you can petition for expungement of any leftover juvenile records other than those resulting in criminal court proceedings or involving first-degree murder or felony sex offenses.
What if My Child Broke the Law – Do I Need to Employ a Juvenile Attorney?
If your kid has been accused of breaking the law, whether or not they have been arrested, it’s good to call a juvenile defense attorney who can help walk you through the possible outcomes. Your child’s lawyer will speak to you and your youth about what happened and offer guidance on the types of penalties the judge could use if they are found guilty in court.
Like in an adult case, the information your child tells their lawyer must stay between the two of them.
Do You Need to Speak to a Juvenile Defense Attorney?
If your minor has been accused of a crime, we may be able to help. Contact us for a free case review. We will evaluate the circumstances and provide you with the specific legal advice you need right now.