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.