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Category Archives: Juvenile Law

fake ID in Illinois, criminal defense lawyer dupage countyLife as a teenager is confusing and complicated. Teens endure college entrance exams, part-time jobs, high school, and constant pressure to fit in. On the journey to finding who they are as individuals, they make a lot of mistakes along the way.

One common mistake that many teenagers make is obtaining and using a fake ID to avoid underage drinking laws. Unfortunately, such a decision can be harshly life altering.

Can a Bouncer Really Spot a Fake?

Bouncers can and do catch teens with fake IDs. With hundreds of licenses handled on a daily basis, it becomes second nature to them to find one that does not match the others. A few signals that are red flags for any seasoned door person are:

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Wheaton criminal defense attorney, justice for juvenilesThere are several different charges related to juvenile theft. Often glamorized by the music industry and mainstream media, many impressionable young adults are led to believe that it is nearly a rite of passage to steal and get away with it. Some consider stealing as a rush; others do it because “everyone else is doing it." Additionally, there may be cases in which a juvenile steals food because he or she could not afford to eat. However, the most common forms of juvenile theft, all prosecutable by law, include the following:

  • Shoplifting: Removing the merchandise from a display or shelf and then exiting the premises with the item without any intention of paying. Merchandise is product that an establishment would sell to the public.

  • Price Tag Switching: Various items cost differing amounts. In this scenario, a culprit may remove a tag off of a higher priced item and replace it with the tag of a lower priced item, a sale item, or a clearance item in order to pay a lower amount. While yes, the individual is still paying for the item, the establishment is still losing revenue on both items. The product that was intended to be a lower cost is now marked overpriced and is not likely to attract a buyer. Moreover, the item that was purchased at the incorrect lower cost only generated a fraction of the amount it was intended to gain.

  • Larceny: This is a very intimidating word to many because it is often heard in high profile cases. Simply put, larceny is theft of personal property. In a larceny case, the person charged is being accused of taking something from an individual without permission or without the intent to return the property.

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Wheaton juvenile criminal defense lawyer, child criminal chargesIf your child is under the age of 18, then you, as a parent, have certain rights when your child is involved with the criminal justice system. The better you understand your rights and your child’s rights, the better you will be able to help him or her after he or she has been arrested or charged with a crime.

Parent’s Rights After an Arrest

If your child has been arrested, he or she has all of the same state and federal rights as anyone else. Moreover, as a parent of an arrestee under the age of 18 in Illinois, you also have rights.

First, you have a right to know why your child was detained. The police should not tell you that the information is confidential and that you will have to wait for your child to be released, or that your child must tell you. Law enforcement is required to inform you as to why your child was arrested.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, juvenile defendantsGenerally, children under the age of 18 are not considered adults. However, under Illinois law, some juvenile defendants can be tried as an adult and given adult penalties if convicted. Illinois has recently made some changes in the way cases involving defendants 17 and younger will be transferred to adult court.

Changes in the Law Effective January 1, 2016 

After January 1, 2016, any child aged sixteen and older, who commits certain serious felonies, will automatically be tried in adult court. If the child is under age 16, then prosecutors will still be able to ask a judge to transfer the case to adult court. However, the transfer will not be automatic and the child’s attorney will be able to argue against the transfer to adult court.  

The crimes for which juveniles will automatically be tried as adults when 16 or 17 years old include:

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Wheaton juvenile criminal defense attorney, your child is arrestedCriminal charges and arrests can unnerving for both the individuals involved and their families. However, when a child faces criminal trouble, the situation is often even more frightening. When a child is dealing with criminal charges, even if he or she is in juvenile court, those charges are just as serious as adult criminal charges.

Your Child’s Rights

When arrested, any person under the age of 18 has the same Constitutional rights as an adult. This includes the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer. Often, people make the mistake of believing that a case involving a minor is not as serious, or it will go better if the child speaks with law enforcement. However, it critical that any individual who is being accused or charged with criminal conduct protect his or her rights and contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

A juvenile criminal case can still end with the child being locked up. It can also end up getting DCFS involved with your family. 

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