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How Do Juvenile Courts Differ From Traditional Courts?


Juvenile courts are focused more on rehabilitation than punishment. Almost every juvenile case that is resolved has a disposition of probation with a treatment or counseling aspect. A juvenile is almost never just put on probation and told to stay out of trouble. Almost every juvenile case has either a mental health evaluation or a drug and alcohol evaluation and then, based on that evaluation, there may be counseling or treatment. The law views juveniles as a particularly receptive to treatment and rehabilitation, and the hope is that if we treat these problems while they are still young, then maybe they won’t be an offender in the future.

What Are The Penalties For Juvenile Offense Convictions In Illinois?

Juvenile courts retain jurisdiction until offenders turn 21, so the longest a person can be sentenced to prison in juvenile court is until age 21. There are exceptions, but that’s the rule. If a juvenile turns 18, sometimes they are transferred to an adult facility.

Will Any Alternative Punishments Keep A Conviction Off My Child’s Record?

Juvenile cases are sealed and not visible to the general public. You don’t need any sort of alternative sentencing disposition for that to happen. All court hearings are held in private and the files are not accessible to the public. Regardless of what the disposition is in a juvenile case, the public won’t know about it and it will not appear in a criminal background check.

Is There Any Point In Having My Juvenile Record Expunged?

Juvenile records are already sealed and not available for public viewing, so there is no need for expungement.

Do A Lot Of Parents Try To Avoid Hiring An Attorney For Juvenile Offenses Because They Don’t Take It Seriously?

No type of criminal offense is truly a minor offense. Even a misdemeanor carries a possible period in jail. These cases can leave impressions that last a lifetime and it is foolish to not hire an attorney to make sure that the minor has the possibility of a favorable outcome.

Why Does My Child Need An Attorney If They Intend To Plead Guilty Anyway?

The fact that someone is willing to admit to a crime doesn’t mean that they are going to get a lenient sentence or even a fair sentence. Hiring your own defense attorney is an insurance policy to ensure that your minor child will have the best possible result in the case.

For more information on Juvenile Courts vs. Traditional Courts, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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