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Juvenile Charges: You and Your Child Both Have Rights

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As a parent, one of the most difficult things to hear is that your child may have done something wrong. If your child is arrested or charged with a crime, it will be a stressful experience for the both of you, but one of the best things you can do is become informed about the rights that both you and your child have in this situation. Becoming informed will help both you and your child get through this process.

What Rights Does My Child Have?

In Illinois, anyone 17 years old or under is considered a child, although for very serious crimes, children over the age of 15 can be tried as an adult.There are a few differences between what rights your child has and what rights an adult has when they are charged with a crime.

1. Probable cause is needed to search a minor - As with adults, police must have reason to believe a person has committed a crime before searching a minor, and these reasons must be supported by facts. The exception to this rule is if a parent or a person with partial responsibility of the child (such as a school official) has reasonable suspicion of an offense.

2. Right to a phone call - If your child has been arrested, he or she has the right to make a phone call to call you or to directly contact an attorney. This is part of the Miranda Rights that also apply to adults.

3. Right to remain silent - Also a part of the Miranda Rights, your child has the right to refuse to answer questions until you and/or their attorney is present. Your child does not have to say anything to the police, no matter what the police say.

4. Right to a lawyer - Your child has the right to a defense lawyer. Your child should tell the police right away that they would like a lawyer present before they speak. If you cannot afford a lawyer, your child has the right to a state-appointed defense attorney.

5. Right to talk to a parent or guardian - Your child has a right to talk to you before they talk to police. They also have the right to have you present during questioning and during all court proceedings.

6. Right to notice of charges - Your child has the right to know what crimes he or she is being charged with. Police are required to explain what charges are being pursued and why they believe your child is guilty.

7. Privilege against self-incrimination - The Fifth Amendment applies to your child the same as it does to an adult - they cannot be forced to testify against themselves.

8. No right to bail - Unless a serious crime is committed, minors are often released from police custody to their parents or guardians prior to their arraignment in juvenile court. In the case that your child is held in police custody, they do not have the right to seek bail.

9. Limited right to a trial by jury - States are not required to give juvenile cases a trial by jury. In the state of Illinois, juvenile cases do not receive a trial by jury unless the minor is judged to be a “violent” or “habitual” offender.

What Rights Do I Have?

1. Right to be notified of arrest - Police must tell you as quickly as possible that your child has been arrested or is being held in custody.

2. Right to notice of charges - Like your child, you have the right to be informed of what charges are being pursued against your child. You also have the right to know where your child is being held in police custody.

3. Right to be present during questioning - You have the right to be with your child during police questioning and during all court proceedings.

4. Right to a lawyer - In Illinois, you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning, even if your child does not choose to exercise his or her own independent right to do so.

Contact a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child has been charged with a crime, you need an experienced Joliet juvenile defense lawyer at your side. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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.

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