Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


A Juvenile Adjudication Could Affect Future Education Opportunities

Joliet Juvenile Crimes Lawyer

Although Illinois has made some major steps in their treatment of juvenile offenders, there are still collateral consequences that may impact their ability to pursue higher education. Learn more about the educational collateral consequences that juvenile offenders could face with help from the following information. You will also learn how you can protect your child and their rights with assistance from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Adjudication vs. Conviction

Before truly examining the collateral consequences of a juvenile offense, it is critical to understand the difference between an adjudication and a conviction. Convictions usually apply to adults—those aged 18 or older—and minors who are tried as adults, which may occur if the offense is violent or sexual in nature. This can affect the individual’s entire life in numerous ways, including imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record that can make obtaining employment, housing, or federal aid for higher education extremely difficult.

Adjudications, which generally apply to minors, may carry less severe consequences. For example, a minor adjudicated for a misdemeanor crime may serve far less time in detention, or possibly none at all. The long-term impact on an adjudicated minor’s future may also be less severe than a conviction. Adjudicated minors sometimes have more employment options and fewer concerns over housing than convicted adults or minors.

Higher Education Barriers for Adjudicated Minors

Although an adjudicated minor may still be able to pursue higher education and receive financial aid, he or she may be required to disclose their criminal record on his or her admission application. At a prestigious school, where only a limited number of students are selected each year, this disclosure could result in a lack of acceptance. Further, certain adjudicated minors may be ineligible for student housing. For example, a minor adjudicated on a sex offense may not be allowed to stay in a dormitory. This can create financial hardships for students.

Protecting Your Child’s Future

Although the criminal and collateral penalties may be less severe for minors, they are still at risk for barriers and obstacles in the future. An experienced Joliet juvenile defense attorney can help protect them from such consequences. Contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba for a free consultation. We will assist you in exploring your available options and work with you in protecting your loved one’s future opportunities. Schedule an appointment by calling 815-740-4025 today.

Changes to Expungement Law Could Make a Major Difference for Many

Joliet Will County Expungement Lawyer

The Illinois Criminal Identification Act (ICIA) governs numerous components of the state’s criminal system, including regulations about expungement of a person’s criminal record, and in recent months, it has undergone a major change. Since the law’s official modifications went into effect on January 1, 2017, some ex-convicts in Illinois have seen their lives change for the better. However, many are still unaware of the potentially beneficial amendments to the ICIA.

The Changes

The specific changes made to the ICIA may be somewhat difficult for the average person to understand, as the relevant statute is couched in highly technical language. Essentially, however, the most substantive change is to the requirements one must meet before beginning the process of expunging an eligible arrest from one’s record. Formerly, any Illinois resident who had been convicted of any type of crime which was not expungeable could not petition to remove any crimes on their record that were. The passage of Public Act 099-0881 in late 2016 changed that, with the law going into effect at the beginning of this year.

The measure modified the ICIA at 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(b)(1), and it states that a person—even one who has been previously convicted of a non-expungeable criminal offense—may petition the relevant Circuit Court for expungement of any crime that is eligible. It even permits non-convictions to be expunged if an appropriate showing of the necessity of doing so is shown. Incidents such as successfully completed orders of supervision and arrests without charges may be removed from one’s criminal record if a petition is approved to do so. It can be difficult for many people to find gainful employment without a clean criminal record, and even court supervision or probation is enough to cost some workers their jobs.

Fee Waiver Pilot Program

One other change to Illinois’ expungement law involves a pilot program to waive the filing fees that would normally be incurred by those seeking expungements. While this may sound relatively inconsequential—the filing fees are high but not insurmountable for most—it has wider ramifications for former convicts who may have trouble obtaining employment following the completion of their case. The state is testing out the measure for one year, and in 2018, the clerks of court are scheduled to begin collecting filing fees again.

The unemployment rate among previously convicted individuals is extremely high, but steady employment is one of the most significant factors that may keep a first-time offender from becoming a repeat offender. If a person has no job and no money, the expungement process may be the difference between finding employment and being declined once more. Illinois has passed legislation to “ban the box,” meaning that criminal history may not be a factor in deciding whether or not to hire an otherwise qualified applicant, but significant obstacles still face former offenders. Removing the filing fees may eliminate one of them.

Consult a Knowledgeable Attorney

By permitting those with non-expungeable offenses to petition for the removal of expungeable offenses from their criminal record, the state of Illinois has shown its cautious interest in giving more offenders a chance to rejoin the legitimate workforce, which can only benefit all involved. If you need help seeking the expungement of your record or have questions concerning the process, contact a dedicated Joliet expungement attorney. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

The Difference Between Theft, Burglary, and Robbery Charges in Illinois

Joliet theft burglary robbery lawyer

The terms theft , burglary, and robbery are often used synonymously and interchangeably in daily conversation, but the three are not the same. While your friends and family understand it to mean that items were taken without knowledge or approval, in a court of law, these terms indicate various behaviors and thus carry a variety of punishments upon conviction. If you are facing any theft crime charges, it is important to understand the difference and how they can impact your future.


Believe it or not, you do not have to take anything to face burglary charges. You simply need to enter into an area in which you did not have authorization. What makes burglary any different than trespassing? The most basic difference is the offender’s intent. The prosecution has the burden of proving that you intended to commit a felony or steal something. If they can demonstrate that you had intent, a conviction is a Class 2 felony which carries a prison sentence of three to seven years. If the break-in with intent occurred at a protected facility, such as a church or daycare, the penalty bumps up to a Class 1 felony with a mandatory four-year prison sentence but potentially up to 15 years. Either way, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be applicable.


Theft is knowingly taking someone’s property without consent. Theft does not need to occur within a home necessarily and is chargeable if someone receives stolen goods, even if they paid for it and had no idea it was owned illegally. The severity of the charge range anywhere from petty theft misdemeanors up to felony charges. The level of the theft class is directly proportional to the dollar amount of the stolen goods. Sentences range from jail time of less than a year and a fine of up to $2,500.00 up to the most severe at 15 years serving time in the state penitentiary and a fine of up to $25,000.00.


Robbery is taking something from someone by force, like a purse or money from someone’s possession. Only taking it is theft, but if they felt threatened or there was mention of force if they did not cooperate, the theft charge escalates to robbery. If a weapon or other firearm was used in the robbery, then armed robbery charges are probable. If the victim had drugs in their system against their will during the robbery, aggravated robbery charges may ensue.

Know the Difference

It would be illogical to defend yourself against robbery charges when you were truthfully facing burglary accusations. This is an example of where it is imperative for you to know and understand the difference between the allegations. Using such knowledge on your behalf can lead to reduced or dropped charges. If you are interested in discussing your case with a proven and experienced Joliet theft crimes defense attorney , contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.


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