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Juvenile Conviction Consequences

Gene Ognibene Associates Feb. 7, 2024

Teenage boys inside juvenile detention centerThe Juvenile Court is an institution that deals with juvenile delinquency cases. Its main objective is to protect society from juvenile crime, hold offenders accountable, and provide rehabilitation opportunities for both the juvenile and their family.  

When a juvenile is convicted, various consequences can be imposed by the court. These include home confinement or house arrest, placement with someone other than a parent or guardian, juvenile hall, and probation. The severity of the sentence depends on the nature of the crime and the juvenile's record. 

Understandably, it's a stressful time for parents and guardians who need to comprehend the court proceedings and ensure they have an experienced attorney, like Gene Ognibene, present with them. 

Understanding the Juvenile Court Process

The Juvenile Court Process can be quite complex, and it's essential to have a basic understanding of how it works. It typically follows the following steps: 

  1. Arrest 

  1. Detention Hearing 

  1. Preliminary Hearing/Intake Conference 

  1. Adjudication Hearing/Trial 

  1. Disposition Hearing/Sentencing 

During the arrest, law enforcement will take the juvenile into custody and decide whether to release them or detain them until their court appearance. At the detention hearing, the judge will determine whether the juvenile should continue to be held or released to their parents/guardians. 

The preliminary hearing/intake conference is where a probation officer gathers information about the case and prepares a report for the judge. This report includes details about the juvenile's background, offense, and risk level. 

At the adjudication hearing/trial, the judge will decide whether the juvenile committed the alleged offense. If found guilty, a disposition hearing/sentencing will take place to determine an appropriate punishment or rehabilitation program for the juvenile. 

Possible Sentencing and Consequences of Juvenile Convictions

The sentencing options for juvenile offenders in Illinois are diverse and depend on the severity of the offense committed. They include: 

  1. Home Confinement: Also known as house arrest, the juvenile must stay within their home except for school, work, or court-ordered obligations. 

  1. Placement With Someone Other Than a Parent or Guardian: This could be a relative, a foster home, or a group home. 

  1. Juvenile Hall or Secured Juvenile Facilities: These are detention centers for juveniles who've committed serious offenses. 

  1. Probation: The juvenile must follow specific rules and meet with a probation officer regularly. 

  1. Adult Jail or Blended Sentences: For serious offenses, juveniles aged 14 or older could be tried in an adult court and face adult sentences. 

  1. Verbal Warnings, Fines, Counseling, Community Service, and Electronic Monitoring: These are generally for less serious offenses. 

  1. DCFS Reported as Guardian: This is a possibility, but only in rare cases.  

Each of these consequences can have significant impacts on the life of a juvenile, affecting their education, career prospects, and social life. It's crucial to have a juvenile crimes attorney like Gene Ognibene by your side to ensure the best possible outcome. 

Other Impacts of Juvenile Convictions

Aside from the immediate consequences listed above, there are other long-term impacts of juvenile convictions that parents and guardians must be aware of. These include: 

  • Educational Opportunities: Juvenile convictions can affect a student's ability to attend certain schools or receive financial aid for college. 

  • Employment: Certain employers may require background checks and may not hire individuals with criminal records, including juvenile convictions. 

  • Housing: Landlords and housing authorities may deny a juvenile with a criminal record from renting or living in certain areas. 

  • Voting Rights: In some states, individuals with felony convictions are not allowed to vote until their sentence is complete, including any probation or parole terms. 

  • Immigration Status: Juvenile convictions can have severe consequences for non-US citizens, including deportation. 

Seeking Expungement

In certain cases, it may be possible for a juvenile to have their conviction expunged, meaning that it will be removed from their criminal record. This can help alleviate some of the long-term impacts listed above. However, the criteria for expungement vary by state and offense committed. It's best to consult with an experienced attorney like Gene Ognibene to determine if expungement is a possibility for your child's case. 

Obligations of Parents/Guardians and Juveniles

It's crucial for parents, guardians, and juveniles to cooperate with the court and adhere to all court orders. Failure to comply can lead to contempt of court charges, detention, or fines. If the juvenile is a ward of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the caseworker should be notified immediately upon arrest. 

Need Representation? Look No Further.

In conclusion, while the juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate rather than punish, the consequences of a juvenile conviction can be severe. As parents, understanding your child's rights, the court proceedings, and potential outcomes can make a significant difference in navigating this challenging situation. You're not alone in this journey. Reach out to Gene Ognibene Associates for professional legal guidance and representation. The firm serves clients throughout DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, and Cook County.