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Reeder & Brown, P.C.

When Can Your Child Be Charged as an Adult in Illinois?

Posted on in Criminal Law

Will County Criminal Defense AttorneyIllinois is known for its attention to the juvenile justice system. It was the first state in the country to create a separate justice system for those under the age of majority. This has been extremely important, as the juvenile court system often serves as a means for rehabilitating young people who are on the wrong path. This is different from adult criminal court in that there is a belief that children have more of an opportunity for change. However, there are still some instances in which a juvenile may be tried in adult criminal court. If you or a loved one were charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, it is important to understand what you may be up against. 

Juveniles Facing Charges in Adult Criminal Court

It’s important to note that there is never a time when a juvenile is required to be transferred to adult criminal court.

Juveniles who are over 13 years of age can only be transferred to adult criminal court if the prosecution can demonstrate that doing so would be in the best interest of the juvenile or of public safety as a whole. When coming to this determination, there are a variety of factors that the judge may consider:

  •  The minor’s age

  • The minor’s criminal history

  • The seriousness of his or her current charge

  • Whether the minor possessed a deadly weapon for his or her current charge

  • Whether the minor caused bodily harm to the victim

  • The minor’s health (physical, mental, and emotional)

  • Whether the minor has previously been willing to participate in treatment options

  • Whether available treatment options could help the minor

  • Whether the minor would complete their treatment before the age of 18

  • The minor’s history of education

  • The minor’s history of sustaining abuse

  • Whether the crime in question appears to be premeditated

  • Whether the minor was an active participant in the crime

When a juvenile who is 16 or 17 years of age is charged with murder or another forcible felony, the case is generally presumed to be on track to be transferred to adult criminal court. Before the case is transferred, however, the juvenile defendant and his or her attorney will have an opportunity to present arguments and evidence in support of keeping the case in juvenile court. Whether or not they will be transferred is ultimately left to the judge’s discretion. 

Contact Our Will County Criminal Defense Attorneys

If your child has been charged with a crime, Reeder & Brown, P.C. can protect your child’s rights and build a formidable defense against the charges. Contact our Plainfield criminal defense attorneys to get the legal support you and your family need. Call 815-768-4800 to arrange a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=3718&GAID=13&GA=99&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=89922&SessionID=88

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=070504050K5-805

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-poised-to-update-juvenile-transfer-policy/

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