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Juvenile Defense Attorney Serving Waukegan and the Northern Suburbs of Chicago

Illinois was the first state to establish a separate court for children, enacting a court system for juveniles that would soon be emulated by the rest of the nation. While most Illinois juveniles are able to avoid getting into trouble with the law, young people do make mistakes as a part of the growing-up process. One moment of poor judgment, or one bad decision should not be allowed to alter the entire course of your child's future. Despite opinions to the contrary, the vast majority of juvenile offenders are neither violent nor repeat offenders, and most deserve a second chance. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, you are likely extremely worried about how this arrest will affect his or her future.

The sooner you speak to an experienced Illinois juvenile offense attorney, the greater likelihood of a positive outcome. The The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. have helped many parents and children who were frightened and anxious about the criminal charges filed against the minor. Our Northbrook juvenile defense attorney understands that while the Illinois juvenile justice system is different from the adult system, in some cases it is not more lenient. Turn some of your worry over to Matthew R. Gebhardt—his many years' of experience and knowledge of Florida juvenile laws will benefit your child's future.

Lake County Juvenile Crimes Your Child Could be Charged With

The most common juvenile crime is theft, or shoplifting. Other common juvenile crimes include:


automatic transfer, new law, Schaumberg Criminal Defense LawyerAlthough a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court last fall affirmed the constitutionality of automatic transfer of juveniles to adult court in certain cases, the state’s High Court urged legislators to review the existing process. In People v. Patterson, the Supreme Court determined that, while process in juvenile court is not a guaranteed right of a defendant, more judicial oversight and discretion would help improve effectiveness of the criminal court system. As of now, the court opined, the use of mandatory transfers fails to address the individuality of a situation, which is often necessary in juvenile cases.

House Bill 3718

In response to the urging of the Supreme Court, a measure was introduced to the Illinois House in February of 2014 designed to reduce the use of automatic transfers to adult courts for juveniles. With the help of sponsors Representative Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, and Senator Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, the bill was passed by both the House and Senate fairly easily and sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for approval earlier this summer. Governor Rauner signed the legislation in August, and the law is set to take effect on January 1, 2016.


Fake ID, Real Problems

Posted on in Juvenile crime

fake ID, underage drinking, Cook County Criminal Defense LawyerAs the new school year gets underway, many students are experiencing a whole new world of opportunity. Incoming college freshmen, in particular, may be enjoying a sense of freedom that they have never felt before. Many students will use this newfound independence to develop an identity as an adult and to practice self-discipline. For others, however, this means underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to buy alcohol or to get into bars and clubs. While they may seem like rites of passage for college students, both are against the law, and can lead to serious consequences and criminal penalties.

Several Applicable Laws

In Illinois, there are a number of statutes that expressly address the use of a falsified identification card or driver’s license. The Illinois Vehicle Code, the Illinois Identification Card Act, and the Illinois Liquor Control Act all contain provisions prohibiting the possession of a fake ID and the fictitious use of a legitimate identification card.  Depending upon the circumstances of each case, the applicable law and the subsequent penalties may vary. Prosecution, however, will generally range from a Class A misdemeanor, with a $500 minimum fine, to a Class 4 felony, with the same minimum fine but increased maximum penalties.

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