Skokie Juvenile Theft Attorney

Skilled Juvenile Defense Lawyer Serving Lake County, Illinois

If your child commits a criminal offense in the State of Illinois, it will be handled through the Illinois juvenile justice system however the crimes dealt with in juvenile court are much the same as those in adult court. There are certain differences in how juvenile crimes—and the juvenile—are referred to such as the fact that a juvenile who violates an Illinois law is considered a delinquent rather than a criminal. This is to reflect the assumption by the state that a juvenile is not entirely capable of making their own decisions, therefore cannot be held to the same standards as an adult.

If your child has made a bad decision, it is time to call the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. Our Northbrook juvenile defense lawyer has experience in all aspects of juvenile offenses and has a thorough understanding of the laws which apply to minors. It is a frightening time for the parents and the child who has been charged with a crime, and Attorney Gebhardt can lessen your anxiety by explaining the juvenile process and discussing your child’s options. It is crucial that you not allow your child to plead guilty to his or her crime prior to speaking to Matthew R. Gebhardt.

Juvenile Theft in the Chicago Suburbs

Theft is perhaps the most common crime committed by juveniles and may also be charged as shoplifting, petty theft, retail theft or petty larceny. While the crime may not sound all that serious, in fact a shoplifting conviction can have far-reaching consequences for your child. The language of the theft charge will depend largely on the value of the item or items taken. Attorney Gebhardt will explore all viable options which are in the best interests of your child, with an ultimate goal of having the charges dismissed and leaving your child with a clean criminal record. However, if it is determined that a trial will be the best option for your child, Matthew R. Gebhardt has extensive experience in juvenile court and understands the many complexities of juvenile theft laws.

Examples of Juvenile Theft

Most of us immediately think of shoplifting when we think of juvenile theft. A teen impulsively puts a CD, DVD or piece of costume jewelry in their pocket and attempts to leave the store. There are other examples of juvenile theft and shoplifting that you may not have considered:

  • When a teen switches a higher priced item into the box of a lower-priced item, he or she has committed petty theft;
  • Eating at a restaurant and walking out without paying the bill is also an example of theft;
  • Trying on clothing or shoes in a store’s fitting room, then leaving the store wearing that clothing or shoes is considered theft;
  • Switching price tags on merchandise is the same as putting a store item in your pocket; or
  • Eating food inside a store and neglecting to pay for it is considered theft.

Consequences of Juvenile Adjudication

Juvenile offenses are said to be “adjudicated” rather than “convicted.” If a juvenile is found guilty of the crime of theft, he or she may receive probation, may be subject to fines, may be required to perform a set number of community service hours, may be ordered to make restitution to the store, or, in extreme cases, may be sentenced to serve time in a juvenile correctional facility.

Getting the Help Your Child Need’s From a Northbrook Juvenile Defense Attorney

When Matthew R. Gebhardt is on your child’s case, his goal will be to work with the prosecutor in order to negotiate a deal providing for the least severe punishment. Our Lake County juvenile defense lawyer understands that being accused of a crime is stressful for the parents and the juvenile. Matthew R. Gebhardt will provide zealous representation in order to reduce the consequences to your child’s future. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, it is important that you contact us today.