New Illinois law changes age juveniles automatically get tried as adults.
As it stands now, in Illinois, the law says if you kill, sexually assault or fire a gun at someone, and you are 15-years-old, you will automatically be tried as an adult.
But a change is coming, prosecutors would have to ask a judge to move the case to adult court.
The new law ensures minors have their cases heard before a juvenile court judge, so they can consider factors like the background, mental capacity and culpability of a minor before deciding whether the case should be transferred.
However, once a teen turns 16 and commits those same acts, they automatically get tried as an adult.
Cases heard in the Juvenile Justice Division involve delinquent minors under 18 years of age and include:
- Proceedings to determine if a minor has violated any federal or state law, county or municipal ordinance
- Proceedings for minors addicted to alcohol or drugs
- Proceedings for minors who require authoritative intervention (runaways or those beyond the control of a parent, guardian or custodian)
A juvenile proceeding is a serious criminal matter that can have consequences of incarceration along with other penalties. It is imparative to retain an attorney as soon as possible, even, if the charges seem less important.
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