Juvenile Court Defense Attorneys
Representation in Illinois Juvenile Court Proceedings
Juvenile court cases alleging neglect and abuse also involve the rules and regulations of the Department of Children and Family Services. These cases can be very complicated. The Law Offices of David Guy Stevens, LLC is seasoned and experienced in handling all such matters.
Juvenile Delinquency Matters – An Overview
Juvenile delinquency law deals with crimes and offenses committed by children who are referred to as minors. The maximum age allowed for a case prosecuted in the juvenile court is sixteen for most juvenile felony offenses, and seventeen years of age for juvenile misdemeanor offenses. If your minor child has been charged with a crime in juvenile court, the law requires that he or she be represented by an attorney.
Minors involved in juvenile court matters have most of the same rights adults would have if they were charged with a criminal offense. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to cross-examine witnesses against them, and the right to require that the State prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, in Illinois, juvenile court records are not open to the public. Juvenile court records are sealed, to prevent access to them by employers, colleges and the general public.
If a juvenile is found to be guilty of a crime or offense, he or she may receive court supervision, probation, or a sentence requiring them to serve time in a juvenile correctional facility. An experienced juvenile defense attorney can zealously defend the matter at trial or work with prosecutors to negotiate a resolution that provides for the least severe punishment, depending upon which approach is appropriate.
Juvenile Neglect and Abuse
Many juvenile cases also involve minor children who are alleged to have been neglected and/or abused. These cases almost always involve the Department of Children and Family Services as well as local law enforcement. These cases are very intimidating and potentially harmful to the entire family structure, particularly when the facts of the case are misinterpreted by law enforcement and social service agencies. They have long term consequences and they require the most knowledgeable and aggressive defenses.
Standing accused in a juvenile courtroom is a frightening and stressful event. Having your child removed from your home is even more frightening. You should secure skilled and knowledgeable counsel who will assist you in navigating the juvenile justice system, and provide a zealous defense in order to minimize the impact on your child’s life. Do not delay in contacting an experienced juvenile defense attorney.
Recent Case Law and News:
Mandatory Life Sentences For Juveniles at Issue Before State High Court
Adolfo Davis was just 14 when he committed the crime that led to the life sentence he’s serving today. On Wednesday, Illinois’ highest court heard oral arguments in Chicago over whether the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling — which deemed sentences like Davis’ unconstitutional — should be applied retroactively in Davis’ case
In re A.P., 2012 IL 113875 (November 29, 2012) Peoria Co. (THEIS) Appellate court affirmed.
State cannot obtain a finding of neglect due to a babysitter leaving a child unattended, resulting in injury, without a showing of any knowledge by the parents that the babysitter was an unsuitable caregiver. Where neglect is alleged, each case is to be decided based on its facts, and State must prove neglect by a preponderance of the evidence. Neglect is generally defined as failure to exercise the care that the circumstances justly demand; injurious environment includes the breach of parents’ duty to ensure a safe and nurturing shelter for their children. (KILBRIDE, FREEMAN, THOMAS, GARMAN, KARMEIER, and BURKE, concurring.)
Sexual Assault 1st Dist.
People v. Patterson, 2012 IL App (1st) 101537 (June 29, 2012) Cook Co., 3d Div. (NEVILLE) Reversed and remanded.
(Modified upon denial of rehearing 9/26/12.) Court entered judgment on jury verdict finding Defendant, then age 15, guilty on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Court erred in allowing into evidence statement defendant signed at police station, as police made no attempt to contact Defendant’s parents, and no concerned adult helped Defendant during police questioning. On remand, if State again presents testimony that victim had intercourse shortly before medical examination, then court should permit Defendant to present evidence that victim had intercourse with her boyfriend. Statute providing for automatic transfer to criminal court of all charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault against minors age 15 and older is not unconstitutional. (STEELE and MURPHY, concurring.)
Supreme Court Bars Mandatory Life in Prison for Juveniles Convicted in Murder Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Eighth Amendment bars mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole for juveniles convicted of murder.(ABA Journal)
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