Crystal Lake IL juvenile defense attorneyIt is very scary for a parent when their child is charged with a crime, such as underage drinking or retail theft. One of the most frightening aspects is the fact that so many parents are unsure about what to expect, or the penalties their child will face. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, answers to these common questions about Illinois juvenile law may help you better understand what can happen.

When are Minors Tried in Adult Court?

This is perhaps the most common question when a minor is charged with a crime, because a child being tried as an adult is typically the biggest fear for parents. The answer to this question largely depends on the type of criminal offense a minor is accused of committing. Minors age 17 or younger who are charged with a misdemeanor will likely remain in the juvenile system. When a minor is accused of committing a serious felony offense, they may be tried in adult court unless they are 16 years old or younger.

At What Age is a Child Considered a Juvenile?

Prior to January 10, 2010, the maximum age of a juvenile in Illinois was 16 years old. Now, however, that age has increased so that anyone 17 years old or younger is deemed a juvenile in the state. The age of juveniles is still a topic that is regularly debated within the Illinois legislature.

How Long Can Police Detain My Child After an Arrest?

It is a common misconception that law enforcement cannot detain a minor after they charge them with a crime. When a child is under the age of 12, law enforcement can still detain them for up to six hours. Law enforcement can detain children between the ages of 12 and 17 for up to 12 hours if they are charged with a non-violent crime. If a child aged 12 to 17 is charged with a violent crime, law enforcement can detain them for 24 hours.

Do the Police Need My Consent to Question My Child?

Another very common misconception is that law enforcement needs to obtain consent from the parents before they can question a minor. That is not true. Before questioning a minor, law enforcement officers are required to try to contact at least one of the minor’s parents. If a parent cannot be reached,  they may contact another adult to be present. Still, law enforcement does not have to wait until a parent or another adult arrives to begin questioning, but they must wait for a youth officer to arrive.

Contact Our McHenry County Juvenile Law Attorneys

If your child has been charged with a crime, it is of the utmost importance that you work with a dedicated Crystal Lake juvenile law attorney. At Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, our seasoned attorneys know how to defend against juvenile charges and will ensure the rights of your child are upheld. Contact us today at 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation.



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