Lake County Juvenile Defense Lawyer

If your child was recently arrested by the Lake County Police Department, you may have endless questions about what you should do next as their parent or guardian, and what effect this might have on your child’s future prospects. First and foremost, you should know that not every “delinquent crime” committed by a child will completely change the course of their life. At the same time, this is a situation that you should take seriously if you want to minimize the impact on your child’s life.

One of the best things you can do after learning your minor child has been accused of a criminal offense is contact a skilled private defense attorney who has experience handling these situations.

At the Umansky Law Firm, we know how stressful this sort of scenario can be for young people and their families, and a Lake County juvenile defense lawyer from our team fights for you through every stage of the legal process.

Basic Steps in the Juvenile Court Process

Minors can be arrested for almost any number of crimes, including theft, assault, gun violations, drugs, sexual assault, or many others.

One important thing to understand about “delinquent crimes” and about the justice system in general is that minors do not have all the same rights as adults facing criminal charges do. Minors do have a right to legal counsel to refrain from incriminating themselves, be informed of their charges, and cross-examine witnesses, but they do not have a right to a jury trial. Instead, juvenile cases are decided solely by juvenile court judges, who have fairly broad authority to decide whether a child should be “adjudicated delinquent” and how they should be sanctioned as a result.

Things are different before and after that point in the trial process as well. For example, rather than local or county jail, minors arrested on suspicion of criminal activity will generally be transported to a local Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC). Their parent(s) or guardian(s) will be notified and then usually—but not always—allowed to take them home after they are issued a Juvenile Notice to Appear in court at a later date.

As for the end of a juvenile case, the sanctions that a judge can impose upon an adjudication of guilty are not as harsh as those associated with an adult criminal conviction. However, they can include things like probation, community service requirements, small fines, and detention in a juvenile correctional facility in extreme situations. A Lake County attorney can go into more detail about the ins and out of juvenile defense cases during a private initial consultation.

What Options Are There for Contesting Juvenile Charges?

As with adult criminal cases, the state must prove that your child committed a particular offense “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order to adjudicate them delinquent and impose sanctions. With this in mind, effective defense strategies generally revolve around proving that your child’s actions did not meet all the criteria listed in the definition of their alleged offense provided by state law, or that they were arrested due to a case of mistaken error or through some other procedural or legal mistake.

Some juvenile court judges are amenable to using diversionary programs as an alternative to traditional sanctions and sometimes even adjudication of delinquency. Once again, a juvenile defense lawyer in Lake County can help you explore what options may be available for your child and assist with pursuing the best possible course of action.

Get Help From a Lake County Juvenile Defense Attorney

Learning your child has been arrested by Lake County police for any reason can be a uniquely frightening and even intimidating experience to go through as a parent or guardian. As much as possible, though, it is important to stay calm and forward-thinking when dealing with a situation like this. The next best thing to do is seek assistance from qualified legal counsel.

The Umansky Law Firm has years of experience helping families like yours, and a Lake County juvenile defense lawyer could provide irreplaceable guidance and support all the way through this case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options. Your child’s future should not be ruined because of one mistake.

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    Lake County Juvenile Defense Lawyer