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Your Rights In the Illinois Juvenile Justice System

Posted on in Family Law

Your Rights In the Illinois Juvenile Justice System, DuPage County juvenile law attorneysWhen a minor is charged with a crime in Illinois, he or she may be diverted to the juvenile justice system. Whether the minor faces the charges in adult court or through the juvenile justice process depends on the age of the minor and the crime committed. Youth 15 years and younger will be in juvenile court and youth 16 years and older will start in juvenile court but may be moved to adult court if it is a very serious crime, such as first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated battery with a firearm. It is important to remember that youth in the juvenile justice system do have rights. Indeed, it is important to understand some of the most substantive rights youth and parents have when navigating the juvenile justice system in Illinois.

Right to an Attorney

Just like adults, children in the juvenile justice system have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer the court will provide a defense attorney. Immediately after being arrested your child should demand to talk to an attorney and say nothing else. Attorneys can help protect your child’s rights and help the case move expediently. Getting an attorney is not a sign of guilt and it is extremely important to exercise this right by contacting a knowledgeable juvenile law attorney as soon as possible.

Right to Remain Silent

You have probably heard the “Miranda” warning at some point in time; it begins, “you have the right to remain silent.” These rights apply in juvenile court as well as adult court. You should instruct your child to take advantage of his or her right to remain silent if he or she is ever arrested. The police may try to trick your child into saying things, but he or she should still stay silent until a lawyer can be contacted. Even if your child is innocent of the charges, talking to the police may give them ammunition in court. The exception to this is that your child should ask to talk to a lawyer and demand that his or her parent or guardian is called.

Talk to a Parent of Guardian

Along with an attorney, your child also has the right to talk to a parent or guardian, and a parent or guardian also has the right to be present when the child is questioned. As above, your child should refuse to answer questions until both you and the attorney are there. Instruct your child that if he or she ever gets arrested the police should be instructed to call you as soon as possible and there should be no questions answered until you get there.

The Right to Know the Charges

Young people in the juvenile justice system also have the right to know the charges against them if they are arrested. They should ask the police what they are being charged with when they are arrested.

Contact Our Attorneys for Help

If your child or other loved one is involved in the juvenile justice system, he or she has the right to an attorney. Our passionate DuPage County juvenile law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help to defend your child’s rights in court.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1863&ChapterID=0
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-juvenile-justice-new-laws-met-20151230-story.html
https://www.law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/cfjc/documents/ParentHandbook.pdf

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