What Happens if a Young Person Violates a Criminal Law in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, juveniles can be accused of crimes just like adults can – and minors can benefit from working with a juvenile crime lawyer in Chicago who’s looking out for their best interests.

What Happens if a Juvenile Violates a Criminal Law in Illinois?

Because the laws are generally written – they apply to everyone, no matter how old – Illinois has a different set of potential consequences that apply to kids. If the court determines that a child needs to be confined, he or she has these sentencing options:

  • Adult jail or prison
  • House arrest
  • Juvenile detention
  • Removal from his or her home
  • Secured facility (such as a boot camp or something similar)

Some kids convicted of crimes get sentences that don’t involve confinement, such as:

  • Community service
  • Counseling
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Fines
  • Probation

Not all juveniles are tried as juveniles, though; some are tried as adults, which is something you’ll need to discuss with your child’s attorney.

Who is Considered a Juvenile?

A person’s juvenile status in the court system depends on two factors – the type of offense the person is accused of committing and his or her age.


A defendant is considered a juvenile if the alleged offense occurred when he or she was 17 or younger.


A defendant is considered a juvenile if the alleged offense occurred when he or she was 16 or younger.

What if My Kid Broke the Law – Do I Need to Hire a Juvenile Lawyer?

If your child has been accused of breaking the law, whether or not he or she has been arrested, it’s a good idea to call a juvenile defense lawyer who can help explain the possible consequences. Your child’s attorney will talk to you and your child about what happened and offer insight on the types of punishments the judge could use if he or she is found guilty in court.

Just like in an adult case, the things your child tells his or her lawyer stay between them.

Do You Need to Talk to a Juvenile Defense Lawyer?

If your child has been accused of a crime, we may be able to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review now – we will evaluate the case and provide you with the specific legal advice you need right now.