Kane County Juvenile Defense Attorney
Juvenile Defense Attorney Serving Geneva, St. Charles, Aurora & The Entire Far Western Chicago Suburbs
No parent wants to get a call from the police saying that their child has been picked up for theft, drug possession, or worse. If this happens to you, swift legal intervention is critical. The assistance of a lawyer experienced in juvenile and criminal defense in your county will be invaluable.
Ramirez Law will act quickly and decisively to protect your child's legal rights and their future. Attorney Viviana Ramirez is a skillful criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience between state and federal court. She has successfully defended her clients against serious charges ranging from drug possession to homicide. You can rely on her to guide you and your minor child through the juvenile justice system with compassion and to advocate strenuously for a positive outcome.
MINIMIZING YOUR CHILD'S EXPOSURE TO THE LEGAL SYSTEM
Attorney Viviana Ramirez understands that juvenile offenses often stem from teenage struggles with peer pressure, drinking, drugs, and mental health problems. She also realizes the importance of minimizing a minor's involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Although Illinois passed a new law in 2017 that is intended to improve the confidentiality of juvenile justice records and automatically expunge, or erase, most juvenile records within two years of a case being closed, the more records that are created by different agencies, the greater the chance of old accusations coming to light in the future. We offer both juvenile and adult records expungement services to ensure that our clients can move forward in life with a clean record, to the extent allowed under Illinois law.
You can count on Attorney Ramirez to handle your child with sensitivity but also talk straight with them.
UNDERSTANDING THE ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
If your child has been arrested for breaking the law in Illinois, here are some important things you need to know about Illinois' criminal law as it pertains to juvenile delinquents (706 ILCS 405).
When Minors Will Be Tried in Juvenile vs. Adult Court
A minor under the age of 18 who breaks the law in Illinois will be processed through the juvenile justice system rather than the adult criminal courts with three exceptions:
Juvenile violations of traffic, boating, and fish and game laws are handled through the adult court system but in accordance with juvenile confidentiality and detention rules.
A minor at least 16 years old charged with any of the following crimes will be tried as an adult: first degree- murder, aggravated criminal assault, or aggravated battery with a firearm where the minor personally discharged a firearm.
Illinois Juvenile Justice Procedures and Juvenile Delinquency Terminology
Juvenile offenders have essentially the same civil and procedural rights as adults, except that juveniles generally do not have the right to a jury trial. Minors also receive many special protections, such as where and how long they may be held in custody.
When a juvenile is arrested for a violation of law, a juvenile police officer may agree to impose an informal station adjustment or a formal station adjustment rather than turning the case over to the State's Attorney for prosecution. Both the minor and their parent or guardian must agree to this.
When a juvenile matter is referred to the State's Attorney and a decision is made to prosecute the offender, the prosecutor files a delinquency petition in juvenile court rather than filing adult criminal charges.
If an out-of-court plea agreement is not made, there will be a bench trial before a judge. Previously this was called an adjudicatory hearing, but the term trial is now used.
A minor who pleads or is found guilty at trial is adjudicated delinquent, not convicted of a crime. This will be followed by a sentencing hearing, previously termed a dispositional hearing. Illinois law favors sentencing juveniles to community-based programs that allow minors to reside at home, with secure confinement ordered only for minors who present a danger to the community.
In juvenile sentencing, judges must consider mitigating factors such as the minor's age and level of maturity, history of childhood abuse or trauma, history of delinquent or criminal behavior, the circumstances of the offense and the minor's degree of participation, the minor's potential for rehabilitation, and whether the minor has expressed remorse.
Illinois law specifically allows the court to issue orders to parents including paying some or all of the expenses associated with the case and care of the juvenile.
If your minor is facing criminal charges, and you want an attorney with a consistent track record of succes, contact us today for a free consultation! From our law offices in Aurora & Chicago Illinois, Ramirez Law proudly serves clients facing juvenile charges throughout Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and Cook County including, but not limited to, North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Elgin, Wheaton, Warrenville, Naperville, Elburn, Campton Hills, Wayne, Winfield and the city of Chicago.