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.