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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.

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