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Are Juveniles Generally Sentenced To Incarceration Or Probation?


Whether a juvenile is sentenced to incarceration or probation depends on the charges. We typically see that the more serious the charges, the more restricted the options are, but the judge can make a blend of whatever the judge feels is appropriate. They do have court supervision in Illinois on charges, so even after the case is done, there would be no conviction entered. Something else to keep in mind with juvenile cases, which is different from adult cases, is that once juvenile cases are done, even if the person got convicted and got probation, that information is not released to the public. This is because they deem it in the child’s best interest to not have so many black marks on their record before they get a chance to be an adult, which would hurt them for life.

Their juvenile records are sealed, and the only people who can see them are law enforcement and judiciary. An employer wouldn’t be able to find their juvenile records. They are only available to the law enforcement community, which includes the judges.

Here there are some major differences with sentencing juveniles, as opposed to adults. A juvenile could get ordered to do a certain amount of time in juvenile detention, along with probation, and overall the judge can mess with your life until you’re an adult. They have some pretty stringent requirements they can give you, if they think you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. They can file a petition to revoke, and they can still send you to the Juvenile Department of Corrections until you’re 21 years old. Courts have a lot of hammer to hold over the kid’s head, and there are a lot of options open for the judge. I remember when I prosecuted a robbery, back when I was the State Attorney. I had some kid who cut-off another kid on a bicycle, threatened to beat him up, and took about 50 cents off him. Well, that’s a robbery, and while I appreciated it on the case of robbery, I was really pissed off as a State’s Attorney.

I thought this wasn’t right. My kid shouldn’t be fearful that someone is going to pull him off his bicycle at a fist point, and steal his money. I had the kid convicted, because to me, he was a bad kid at this point. He knows the right and wrong, but that goes into the discretion of the judge, and what they think the appropriate penalty is. This reflects the kid’s prior record, and their demeanor after this incident—do they seem remorseful, or do they seem like they’re just stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Are Expungements Necessary In Juvenile Cases As Those Are Sealed Anyways?

You could ask to have juvenile cases expunged, and they might be more willing to do that. Let’s say you had a juvenile case, and then you messed up as an adult. When your adult pre-sentence investigation comes up, it’s going to show your juvenile case, and that’s going to negatively affect how a judge sees you. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen. You don’t want to have any kind of record on your kid’s case—you want to have a clean slate when you’re starting off the world as an adult. Maybe you’ve grown up in chains, but that doesn’t mean we shall all forget what he did. It just means you shouldn’t hammer the kid for the rest of his life, that’s why it’s sealed.

But if it comes up a point where he’s committing more crimes, and it’s the exact same thing he did as a juvenile, and didn’t learn his lesson, I want to know what he did before. The law enforcement community wants to know, and the judge wants to know, so they can shape an appropriate sentence.

For more information on Legal Process For Juveniles Vs. Adults, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

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