There is nothing more difficult than having your child charged or investigated for a crime. Juvenile Law is an area with specialized rules and procedures. Many lawyers, even lawyers who handle adult criminal cases, don't have the necessary background and experience to successfully defend juvenile delinquency petitions. Illinois defendants under the age of 17, who commit a misdemeanor or felony crime, are generally charged as juvenile defendants in the juvenile justice system. However, depending on the seriousness of the crime or a juvenile’s criminal background, a juvenile over the age of 15 can be charged as an adult for crimes such as murder, rape, possession of certain drugs, intent to distribute or manufacture certain drugs, certain gun crimes, or crimes that are committed on or near school grounds. The Law Offices of Jeffery J. Nutschnig can help you provide the necessary legal support your child needs.
Parents Have Rights
If your child is arrested or detained, it is important not to panic or react in anger. Remain calm, go to the police station where your child is being held and respectfully demand to be present with your child during questioning. If possible, contact an attorney as soon as you can. If you cannot afford an attorney, your child has the right to have a Public Defender appointed to his/her case. Remember, a parent or guardian may request to see their child at any time when the child is in police custody. As a parent or guardian, you have rights as well. If your child has been arrested or detained, you have 3 important rights:
- The right to be present with your child during questioning;
- The right to know why your child was arrested or detained; and
- The right to have an attorney present with your child.
What Sentence Can A Child Receive?
Prior to the sentencing hearing, the judge may order a pre-sentence investigation. This report examines a juvenile's background and assists the judge in determining an appropriate sentence. Information contained in the report addresses family background, mental and physical health assessments, social habits, and a criminal history.
When the judge is prepared to deliver a sentence, depending on the crime, the judge can sentence the child to:
- Intensive probation supervision;
- Residential treatment centers;
- Juvenile detention; or
- Juvenile prison.