DuPage County Juvenile Crimes Attorney

Helping You Fight a Juvenile Crimes Case

When minors face criminal charges, the impact can be lifelong. Even minor offenses like shoplifting or underage drinking can lead to a daunting experience in the juvenile justice system. More severe crimes, such as drug possession or prostitution, may result in juvenile correctional facility sentences. If charged as adults, juveniles may face adult punishments, including regular prison sentences. The legal process for juvenile trials mirrors that of adults, involving opening statements, witness testimonies, and a judge’s decision based on evidence and arguments.

For effective defense, it’s crucial to hire an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer. Wolfe & Stec’s seasoned Illinois criminal law attorneys provide aggressive representation, thoroughly investigating each case to develop strategies against the prosecution. We are familiar with the courts and the system, and we collaborate with the court to explore alternatives to boot camps and juvenile detention, striving to protect your child’s rights and facilitate rehabilitation. Contact us for a free case consultation at 630-305-0222 to secure legal assistance today.

What Illinois Law Says

Illinois considers offenders to be juveniles depending on the type of offense and age at the time the offense was committed.  For a misdemeanor, the age is 17 or younger; for a felony, it is 16 or younger.

Children tried as juveniles have most of the same rights as adults would have, including the right to be represented by an attorney, to remain silent, and to cross-examine witnesses, and their guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In some situations, a juvenile may be tried as an adult in the criminal courthouse of that county, with adult courtroom procedures and penalties. Juvenile court records are sealed and not open to employers, colleges, and the general public.

The Juvenile Justice Process

The initial stage in the juvenile justice process involves intake, during which the prosecutor assesses whether to pursue charges based on various factors such as evidence, the gravity of the offense, and the juvenile’s prior criminal history. The prosecutor retains the discretion to handle the case informally, formally press charges, or dismiss the case outright. Should a child admit to the crime during an informal hearing in juvenile or criminal court and agree to specified conditions like monetary restitution, community service, school attendance, or counseling, this may resolve the matter.

To better the chances of reducing or dismissing charges, a skilled attorney can compile a comprehensive packet highlighting the child’s character and achievements. If negotiations with prosecutors prove unsuccessful, the subsequent course of action involves requesting a “402 conference” with the judge or proceeding to trial.

During a 402 conference, the judge, prosecutor, and juvenile defense lawyer deliberate on the case without the child or parents present. While the judge lacks the authority to dismiss the case outright, they can propose a “Continuance Under Supervision,” incorporating directives such as work training and community service. Opting for this route enables the child to avoid being adjudicated as “Delinquent,” the equivalent of a conviction, with automatic expungement erasing the record within 60 days.

In juvenile trials, akin to adult proceedings but not open to the public and lacking a jury, the judge renders a decision after considering all evidence and arguments. A not-guilty judgment results in automatic record expungement within 60 days, whereas a guilty verdict leads to sentencing.

Juvenile Punishment in Illinois

Juveniles found guilty may receive court supervision, probation, or a sentence to serve time in a juvenile correctional facility. Alternatives to incarceration include home electronic monitoring, removal from the home, and juvenile boot camp.

If there is no separate facility for juveniles, they may be housed with adults as long as they are kept separate from adult inmates with a sight and sound barrier. Convictions can result in a permanent record, affecting education and career opportunities.

In less serious cases, there are also non-incarceration options for juveniles, such as counseling, community service, fines, and electronic monitoring.  Additional punishments include suspension of driving licenses and loss of the right to get a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) and Concealed Carry License (CCL).

How Can a DuPage County Juvenile Crimes Attorney Help?

Here are key ways in which our skilled attorneys can provide invaluable assistance in such cases.

1. Defense Strategies Tailored for Minors

Juveniles often face distinct challenges in the criminal justice system, and our juvenile crimes attorney understands the need for tailored defense strategies. We will build a defense that takes into account the minor’s age, maturity level, and potential for rehabilitation. This may involve presenting evidence of mitigating factors and emphasizing the importance of rehabilitation over punitive measures.

2. Negotiating Favorable Resolutions

Our DuPage County juvenile crimes attorneys possess negotiation skills crucial for achieving favorable resolutions for our clients. This may involve seeking alternative dispositions, such as diversion programs or counseling, that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The goal is to secure an outcome that allows the minor to learn from their mistakes and move forward positively.

3. Knowledge of Expungement and Sealing Laws

Understanding the long-term consequences of a juvenile record, our attorneys are familiar with the expungement and sealing laws in Illinois. We can guide our clients through the process of erasing or restricting access to their juvenile records, minimizing the impact on their future educational and employment opportunities.

4. Protection of Juvenile Rights

Juveniles, like adults, have rights that must be protected throughout the legal process. A juvenile crimes attorney in DuPage County works tirelessly to ensure that the rights of the accused are upheld, including the right to legal representation, the right to a fair trial, and protection against self-incrimination.

Get Help From a Juvenile Crimes Attorney at Wolfe & Stec

If your child faces criminal accusations, contact a juvenile defense attorney to minimize potential repercussions. Wolfe & Stec’s juvenile crime defense attorneys passionately represent minors in all types of cases.

Our experienced trial lawyers recognize the uniqueness of each juvenile case and navigate the legal system adeptly, employing strategic plea bargaining and trial decisions. Our goal is to prevent the transfer of cases to adult court and protect juveniles from severe penalties. Contact us for a free case consultation at 630-305-0222.

Attorney Marc Wolfe

Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]

Recent Defense Results

After the police broke into our client’s house, we successfully suppressed the evidence and the case was subsequently dismissed.

Drugs, “Class X” Felony, Intent to Distribute

We have tried many aggravated battery and domestic batter cases. Our most recent success was our client was charged with attacking and stabbing the victim in their home. After conducting extensive discovery, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing all the factors contained in the case, we were able to get the cause dismissed.

Aggravated Domestic Battery

We handle numerous first and repeat DUIs and have excellent success in acquittals or reductions of charges with minimum impact for our clients. As members of the NACDL, we have numerous expert witnesses available to rebut the vast resources of the prosecution and receive favorable rulings.

Woodridge Illinois Law Firm

3321 Hobson Road, Suite B
Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

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