Whether a youth will be considered a juvenile under the law depends on two factors,

  • The type of crime and
  • The age the youth was at the time the crime was committed.

Generally, youth under the age of 17 will be considered a juvenile unless they committed certain felonies that require an automatic transfer to adult court. Additionally, a 17-year-old who is charged with a misdemeanor offense will subject to juvenile court.

Can a Juvenile Be Questioned Without a Parent or Lawyer?

When a child is arrested, the police must make reasonable attempts to contact a parent or guardian. The parent may also request to see the child while they are in custody. However, officers do not need to wait until the parents are present to question the child. And in most cases, the police are not required to provide a lawyer to the juvenile.

What Happens After a Juvenile Is Charged?

The juvenile may be released to the custody of their parent or guardian pending the outcome of their proceedings. Some juveniles are screened to determine if they must be detained for the duration of their trial. Depending on the outcome, the juvenile may be held in a secure facility, a non-secure facility, or some type of home confinement. Illinois has a law that juveniles, even those charged as adults, must be separated from adults with a “sight and sound barrier” in a detention facility.

Once the state has filed a formal delinquency petition, the juvenile is required to proceed through the juvenile court process. If convicted, the juvenile will face punishment in the juvenile system.

What Happens if the Juvenile Is Charged as an Adult? 

As stated above, there are some cases in which a juvenile will be charged as an adult. If that occurs, the case will be removed from juvenile court and will proceed in adult court. The outcome of the case will be subject to adult court penalties.

If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime, our juvenile law attorneys can help. Contact Midwest Legal Care at 815-900-2300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation.

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