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My Child Was Arrested for Theft. Now What?

Joliet Juvenile Lawyer

Your teen told you they were out with friends—perhaps friends you have met dozens of times and you know their parents. At first, you thought the call was a joke or a prank. Then the realization sets in that your child has been arrested for shoplifting, but they are letting you take them home for now. What does that mean? The questions are likely to begin spinning through your mind regarding how you will handle the situation as a parent and how this might affect the future. Know that you are not alone, and we can help.

Why Was My Child Released To Me?

Rather than keeping your child in jail until the criminal hearing, the police likely released him or her into your care. While your child has been released, he or she must show up for all scheduled court dates, which you will receive further information on in the mail. Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your child’s arrest and, potentially, other charges. You can assist your child by watching the mailbox and following up with the court.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Child?

It is not uncommon for parents fluctuate between wanting to punish their children themselves for their misbehavior and wanting to protect them and their future from possible court-sanctioned penalties . A few helpful tips for parents wanting to achieve the best possible outcome in this awkward situation include:

• Stress to your child the potential consequences of their behavior. A conviction could keep them from going to college, receiving job offers, or renting or purchasing a home;
• Enlist them in programs that may reduce their charges. Many judges favor the idea of community service and theft intervention classes. It may impress upon the judge that they understand it was a mistake, show signs of remorse, and show a willingness to alter the behavior if these steps are begun before entering the courtroom;
• Follow up after the case is over to remove the criminal record. The arrest still shows up on a permanent criminal record and is not always automatically sealed or expunged at the time your child turns 18. You want to take steps to close off these files to minimize the influence they have on your minor’s future.

Your Child Is Not a “Bad” Kid

Everyone makes mistakes, regardless of age. Most juvenile court judges are focused on helping your child get the help he or she needs rather than on harsh punishments. With the assistance of a help of a proven and experienced criminal attorney, your child has the best chance at achieving a positive resolution to this experience. If you have questions about how you can ensure that your child has the best possible future, contact a Joliet Juvenile Defense Attorney today by calling 815-740-4025 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Domestic Battery - Violence Inside The House

Will County Criminal Domestic Battery Lawyer

Accusations of domestic abuse are serious and may carry lasting penalties. While many understand that this type of crime is no laughing matter, there are other aspects of these charges that are alarming to those accused. For instance, you may be surprised to find out that you do not need to be married or even dating someone to be charged with domestic abuse. Domestic violence charges are possible even if you are only living with someone and you behave violently towards them.

Cohabitating Violence More Prevalent Than Marital Violence

Have you heard the old saying, “you fight like an old married couple?” Well, in recent years, the saying should be closer to, “you fight like old roommates.” If you have ever had a roommate, you understand there are struggles. Two (or more) separate lives with little more in common than rent and utility payments are bound to find conflicts. If one person enjoys staying up all night playing video games video while another likes to wake up early and go for a run after making a protein shake in the blender, you can imagine where things might become a little tense. Although these differences and tensions arise in marriages as well, statistics show that cohabiting relationships are more likely to be violent than married relationships. Did you know that:

• For every one protection order issued for a married couple, courts issue 10 for cohabitants?
• The Family Violence Research Program at the University of New Hampshire finds that cohabiters are much more violent than those who are married?
• Unmarried cohabitants are two times more likely to suffer abuse than married cohabitants?

Defining Domestic Violence

You can be a friend or a roommate and in no way intimately affiliated and still be accused of domestic violence. Additionally, the relation does not need to be current. As long as there is a connection, past or present, domestic violence charges are possible with any altercation. Under Illinois law, domestic violence occurs when a person hits, strikes, threatens, chokes, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of someone who is a family member or household member. Illinois defines this group of people as:

• Blood-related family;
• Those who are married or in a domestic partnership;
• Those previously married or in a domestic partnership;
• Individuals who share or previously shared a home or dwelling;
• Those believed to have a child in common;
• Dating partners;
• Those with previous romantic relations; and
• Persons with disabilities and their assistants.

Facing Accusations?

If you are surprised to find that you are facing domestic violence charges from an old roommate, you are not alone. In addition to being surprising, if convicted, you face higher criminal penalties than if the incident occurred with someone you never met. Contact a Will County domestic violence defense attorney to discuss your case. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

Preparing to Meet With a Criminal Defense Attorney

Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

When you have been arrested on suspicion of drug possession , driving under the influence (DUI) , assault , or any other criminal offense , you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Once you hire an attorney, however, there are a number of things you can to be proactive on your own behalf as well. You can help your case considerably by keeping an open line of communication with your lawyer and by providing him or her with all information that could be pertinent to your defense.

Before you meet even with your attorney, you should begin to:

Gather Documentation

Any and all paperwork and documents you receive from police, prosecutors, the court or any government agency could be relevant to your defense. Keep everything in a specific file and be sure to give your lawyer copies of documents such as:

• Search warrants and other documents related to a search executed by police;
• Arrest warrants and accompanying affidavits;
• Documents related to bail and the conditions of your release;
• Any evidence the prosecution has turned over;
• Charging documents;
• Any documents related to prior crimes for which you have been arrested and/or convicted; and
• Documents regarding your next court date

Write Down Your Story

It is not uncommon for criminal defendants to forget details over time, or they may have trouble recounting the situation for their attorneys. As soon as you are able, create a written account of your version of the events leading up to your arrest, booking, and release. It will helpful for you to have this record available when you speak to your attorney, though you may not need to give him or her a copy. Instead, you may wish to use the document as a reference to answer your lawyer’s questions.

Compile a List of Witnesses

Think about people who may need to testify at your trial. Potential witnesses may include:

• Witnesses to the events in question;
• Anyone who can confirm your alibi;
• Those who can speak to your character;
• Anyone who may have information on potential witnesses for the prosecution; and
• Witnesses who can substantiate your version of the events.

Names and contact information for such witnesses are most helpful, but even if you do not know the name of a particular person—a store clerk, for example, or a bartender—you should still include them if you think they could help.

Know Your Rights

Keep in mind that what you tell your attorney is confidential, even if you admit to committing a crime. Your attorney is focused on showing that the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to convict you, ensuring you that you are treated fairly and in accordance with your constitutional rights. At the same time, your attorney cannot ethically introduce evidence or present arguments in court that he or she knows to be false . Criminal defense attorneys understand this fine line, and your lawyer will guide your conversation accordingly.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, our firm can provide individualized and thorough counsel to you, no matter how serious your case may. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney who will listen to your story and help you formulate an appropriate defense. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

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