Reeder & Brown, P.C.


What Should You as a Parent Expect From a Juvenile Defense Attorney?

 Posted on February 09, 2023 in Criminal Law

joliet criminal defense lawyerWhen your child gets arrested, it is normal to feel angry and upset. However, being too emotional can make it hard to communicate effectively with your child, the police, and your child’s lawyer. It is important to remain calm so that you can work effectively with your juvenile defense lawyer to obtain the best possible outcome for your child. If you have not worked with a lawyer before, four things you can expect from a juvenile defense lawyer are the protection of your child’s legal rights, simple explanations of the process, a thorough investigation of the circumstances of your child’s case, and appropriate recommendations for your child’s defense.

Protecting Your Child’s Legal Rights

The first thing your child’s lawyer should do is make sure you and your child understand your legal rights within the Illinois juvenile justice system. For example, your child has the same rights as an adult to remain silent and to have a lawyer at their side to counsel them during any questioning by the police or the State’s Attorney. Your minor child also has the right to request that a parent or other adult family member be with them during questioning. Under Illinois law, the police must make a “reasonable attempt” to contact the juvenile’s parent or guardian before questioning the child. 

Understanding Illinois Juvenile Justice Procedures

If this is your child’s first encounter with police, fear of the unknown can be stressful for both you and your child. The lawyer you choose should help ease your fears by providing clear and concise explanations of each step in the Illinois juvenile justice process. You should feel comfortable asking questions of your lawyer at any time, and your attorney should offer information as it arises.

Investigation of the Alleged Juvenile Offense

Your child’s lawyer should ask you and your child a lot of questions to understand the child’s background, including any history of prior offenses and any disabilities or medical conditions the child may have. It is important for you as a parent to understand that the lawyer needs to gather a great deal of information very quickly in order to properly defend your child. Try not to be defensive when the lawyer asks what may seem like very personal questions. The attorney will be strictly focused on serving the best interests of your child, not on judging you, your family, or your lifestyle.

Your lawyer will also obtain the police report and talk to the police officers who brought your child into the station, if applicable. Your lawyer will want to determine if there were other witnesses to the offense of which your child is accused and whether there is any police video or other evidence that needs to be looked at. After analyzing all of this information, your lawyer will be able to make an initial assessment of the strength of the state’s case against your child.

Making Recommendations for Your Child’s Defense

Once your child’s lawyer has a good handle on the situation, he or she will explain the available options and recommend an appropriate course of action. For example, one option may be for the police to issue a station adjustment or probation adjustment rather than file formal charges against your child. If your child has to appear before a juvenile court judge, the lawyer can argue for your child to be sentenced to a community-based rehabilitation program involving drug or alcohol treatment, counseling, and/or community service work rather than be sent to a juvenile detention center.  

Call a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense in Will County, consult an experienced Joliet juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner we get involved, the sooner we can start working to get the charges and penalties reduced or dismissed. Call Reeder & Brown, P.C. at 815-885-5980 for a free consultation. We will do everything we can to obtain a favorable outcome for your child.



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