There are many individuals who are charged with crimes simply because they were with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. It can be difficult for these individuals to explain their lack of involvement to law enforcement, and often they find themselves stuck in the system until they are able to find someone who believes their side of the story.
For young people arrested for a juvenile offense, even having the arrest on their record can potentially derail a promising future. They may not understand what they need to do in order to ensure that these arrests are removed after the matter has been completed. If no charges are filed, or the offender offers a successful defense to the accusations, the arrest may still be discovered, which can cause serious problems.
It is extremely important that juveniles understand the impact that a potential conviction may have on their future. Employers may be reluctant to take chances on individuals who have certain offenses on their records. These offenders may also experience challenges when applying for admission into various colleges or trade schools in the region.
A new bill in Illinois has recently been proposed that may make it easier for these individuals to clear their records. The changes would require that the arrest be removed if the individual is not charged or convicted of a crime. The Illinois State Police, the agency responsible for keeping these records, would be required to delete these records every year for low-level offenses. Serious crimes, such as felonies or sex offenses, would still be listed on the juvenile's record. The bill has passed the House, and heads to the Senate for additional consideration.
If your loved one has been charged with a juvenile offense or serious crime, you need to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will immediately be able to begin analyzing the case, and offer you practical advice on your next steps.
Depending upon the nature of the alleged offenses, there may be certain options available that allow the offender to participate in rehabilitative programs, rather than face severe punishments. For more serious crimes, juveniles may be charged as adults, and if this happens, the penalties could result in jail time.
Those who do face these more serious accusations need to be sure that they present an aggressive defense. A conviction of one of these crimes will lead to many more complications for the individuals as they move forward. You should not let your loved one plead guilty to any of these charges until you understand what this will mean for the future.