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Common Types of Property Crimes Committed by Teenagers

joliet juvenile lawyer

According to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) , there were more than 32,000 juvenile arrests in Illinois alone in 2015. These arrests stem from a variety of crimes, from violent crimes like assault or battery, to common juvenile crimes such as underage drinking or drug use. Another common area of crime that juveniles tend to commit is property crime. Property crime refers to crimes that involve the theft or destruction of someone else’s property. These crimes may seem trivial when compared to crimes like battery, but they can still result in serious charges and penalties.

Criminal Trespassing

There are a variety of ways you can be charged with criminal trespassing. According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 , in its most basic form, trespassing occurs when a person knowingly and without the lawful right enters or remains within or on a building. You can also be charged with trespassing if you:

• Are told you are not permitted to be on someone’s property and you enter anyways;

• Remain on someone’s property after they have told you to leave; or

• Falsely represent your identity to a property owner so you may enter or remain on the property.

Trespassing is a Class B misdemeanor, which means you can face up to six months in jail, up to two years of probation and/or a minimum fine of $75, with a maximum possible fine of $1,500.

Damage to Property

Another common property crime juveniles are charged with is criminal damage to property. This can occur in multiple ways, including:

• Damaging any property which belongs to another person;

• Using fire or explosives to damage the property of another;

• Knowingly starting a fire on someone else’s property;

• Knowingly and without proper authorization damaging, tampering with or destroying a fire hydrant or firefighting equipment; or

• Intentionally and without proper authorization opening a fire hydrant.

Committing either of the last two bullet points would result in a Class B misdemeanor. This means you could face a jail sentence of up to six months, up to two years of probation and/or a fine between $75 and $1,500. A violation of any other bullet point would result in a Class A misdemeanor -- as long as the damage to the property does not exceed $500. A Class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in prison, up to two years of probation and/or up to $2,500 in fines. If the damage to the property is valued at more than $500, then the charges are increased to felony charges.

A Joliet Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer Can Help Your Child Avoid a Conviction

Getting the call that your child has gotten into trouble with the law can be a scary and anxiety-ridden experience. If your child has been accused of committing a property crime, you need immediate help from a Will County juvenile defense attorney . At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help your child avoid a conviction at all costs. Our job is to prove to the court that your child is not a criminal but a kid who had a momentary lapse in judgement. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-740-4025.

What is Criminal Trespass

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Illinois law defines three types of criminal trespass: to real property, to a residence, and to a vehicle. Charges of criminal trespass in Illinois often accompany other charges such as burglary, battery , or criminal damage to property (vandalism) .

Criminal Trespass to a Residence

You commit the offense of criminal trespass to a residence when you knowingly enter or remain in a residence without authority. If you know that a resident is present, the crime is a Class 4 felony; otherwise, it is a Class A misdemeanor (720 ILCS 5/19-4). If you accidentally enter a home thinking it is the location of a party to which you were invited, and you leave when you realize your mistake or when asked to leave by the homeowner, you would not be charged with criminal trespass to a residence. However, if you crash a party and refuse to leave, you could be charged with criminal trespass. If you enter a residence with the intent to commit a crime, you could instead be charged with burglary.

Criminal Trespass to Real Property

You commit the offense of criminal trespass to real property when you knowingly enter or remain in a building or on another person’s land without authority (720 ILCS 5/21-3). If you enter a public building believing it to be open to the public, you would not be guilty of trespass. However, if you enter another person’s land which has been properly posted as “private, no trespassing,” then you could be charged with trespassing.

This offense is generally a Class B misdemeanor. However, it is a Class A misdemeanor to enter an agricultural property in or on a motor vehicle, including an ATV or dirt bike. A person who damages agricultural land while trespassing may also be required to pay restitution to the owner for damages, and parents can be required to pay for damages caused by a trespasser under the age of 16.

Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle

You commit the offense of criminal trespass to a vehicle when you knowingly and without authority enter any part of or operate any motor vehicle, aircraft, boat, or snowmobile (720 ILCS 5/21-2). If you drive off in a vehicle with the intent to return it after a short time, and then do return it without damage--an activity commonly referred to as “joyriding”--you would be guilty of criminal trespass to a vehicle. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

A Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a trespassing offense--perhaps in conjunction with charges of theft, property damage, or domestic violence--consult a savvy Joliet criminal defense lawyer with more than a decade of experience in the criminal courts of Will County. While these may only be misdemeanor charges and not felonies, they will still go on your criminal record and appear on background checks for jobs. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation with Attorney Jack L. Zaremba.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me With a Traffic Violation

joliet traffic ticket lawyer

In the state of Illinois, it is considered a privilege to be permitted to operate a vehicle on public streets and highways. Driving is not considered to be a right. Revoking a right is extremely difficult and generally involves serious circumstances, such as the revocation of a person’s right to bear arms after that person has been convicted of a violent felony. Revoking a privilege is much easier.

The privilege of driving is one that can be revoked in Illinois for a variety of reasons including being convicted of violations of the Illinois Vehicle Code . You could lose your ability to drive for a single serious infraction or for a cumulative number of lesser convictions in a short period of time. If you have a recently received a traffic ticket, it is important to understand how an attorney could help you.

Traffic Violations are Expensive

Most traffic violations are punishable by a fine determined by the state. However, there are usually additional fees that go along with a violation, not to mention a potential increase in auto insurance premiums triggered by the violation as well. All told, the average driver in Illinois who receives a ticket will pay about 6.2 times more than the fine itself. For example, if the fine for a particular offense is $100, it will cost a convicted driver about $620 including additional fees and costs.

Options for Handling a Ticket

When you are pulled over and given a ticket for violating a traffic law, you have three available options. You have the option of:

• Pleading guilty, paying the fine, and accepting the conviction;

• Paying the fine and requesting court supervision. If court supervision is granted, you will likely be required to attend traffic school and avoid getting another ticket within a set period; or

• Pleading not guilty and appearing at your court hearing. A traffic violation court hearing is effectively a bench trial before a local magistrate or judge.

At first glance, you might be inclined to simply pay the fine, plead guilty, and move on with your life. However, that might not always be best choice. If you qualify for supervision, you could avoid having the violation applied to your record, presuming you complete the program as ordered.

This could be important because three traffic convictions within 12 months will lead to a suspension of your driving privileges for up to six months. The actual duration of the suspension will depend on the nature of the offenses for which you were cited. If you are under the age of 21 and you receive just 2 traffic convictions in a 24 month period, you would be subject to a suspension as well.

By working with an attorney, you could potentially avoid such problems. Your attorney will review your driving record, as well as your available options. Along with your lawyer, you can decide whether to request court supervision or to fight the ticket outright. Your lawyer will also help you build a case designed to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

Call a Joliet Traffic Violations Lawyer

If you are facing the possible suspension of your driving privileges due to traffic violations, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney . Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

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