Juvenile Law

Schaumburg Experienced Juvenile Law Attorney

A criminal conviction at a young age can shut your child out from academic opportunities, such as scholarship and grant money for college, that can in turn limit his or her achievement potential. Adolescents make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes result in criminal charges. Just as you would seek legal defense for yourself if you were charged with a criminal offense, seek legal counsel and representation for your son or daughter from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Different Terms for Juvenile Offenders

Alleged offenders under the age of 18 generally do not have their cases handled by the adult criminal justice system. Rather, their cases are handled by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. Programs administered by this department focus on the rehabilitation of young offenders, rather than just their punishment.

A few key juvenile justice terms to know include:

  • Status offenses. These are offenses that are criminal acts merely because of the alleged offender’s age. For example, possession of alcohol by an individual under the age of 21;
  • Disposition orders. In many cases, this is the term used in place of “sentence” when referring to a guilty juvenile’s penalties; and
  • Adjudication. This term is frequently used in place of “conviction” when referring to juvenile offenders.

Penalties for Juvenile Offenders in Illinois

Because the focus of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate young offenders, rather than strictly punish them and potentially create a path toward further criminal activity, the court has a broad range of options for juvenile disposition orders. These include the following:

  • Placement with a new guardian. If the court feels that the offender’s actions stem from the conditions in his or her current home, he or she may be moved to a new guardian. This can be a foster or group home;
  • Probation;
  • Counseling;
  • Detention at a juvenile facility, which may be a low security facility designed for short term stays or a more highly-secured facility for long term stays; and
  • Electronic monitoring. An electronic device may be placed on the individual to track his or her location at all times.

Often, counseling is required as part of the offender’s disposition. It may be for anger issues, substance abuse, or other factors in the juvenile’s life that the court deems to have contributed to his or her criminal actions.

Working with a Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Your child’s lawyer can guide you through the juvenile justice process, from the moment he or she is arrested to the development of a defense strategy, the hearing, and if necessary, the appeals process. If your child is sentenced to probation, incarceration, or another term such as community service or counseling.

Juvenile offenses, like adult offenses, can range from fairly minor to serious criminal acts. A few examples of the juvenile cases our firm handles include:

  • Possession and consumption of alcohol and other drugs, including controlled dangerous substances;
  • DUI;
  • Weapons charges;
  • Assault and battery;
  • Harassment; and
  • Theft.

Work with an Experienced Warrenville Criminal Defense Lawyer

If your son or daughter is facing a criminal charge, his or her future could be severely impacted. Do not allow a criminal charge to ruin your child’s life at such a young age. Contact an experienced juvenile defense lawyer to start working on your child’s legal defense strategy as soon as possible. When you schedule your consultation with Shannon P. O’Malley, Attorney at Law, we can answer your questions and go over the next steps in the criminal justice process with you and your child.