juvenile justice folderThis is the next post in my series on the handling of assault and battery cases which involve a minor. My last article discussed the possible defenses for a juvenile charged with assault. It is important to understand that your son or daughter has options if they have been arrested. Such cases may involve self-defense, a mistaken identity, or the accusations may simply be false. Immediately retaining an experienced attorney is one of the first steps to take to ensure that your child’s rights remain protected. In this article I will discuss the general process which a family faces in such a case. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria juvenile defense lawyer.

Peoria juveniles will be arraigned shortly after being arrested

If a Peoria juvenile is arrested then they will either be released into their parents’ custody or they will be held to determine if they should remain in custody while the case proceeds. If the youth is not released to their parents then a hearing will be held shortly after their arrest to determine their custody status. An arraignment will be held shortly thereafter. The Juvenile Division of the State’s Attorney office will present the allegations at the arraignment and the youth will either admit or deny the allegations. If the allegations are denied then the Court will set a date for a trial. The youth, through their defense counsel, will interview any relevant witnesses and file any necessary Motions with the Court. These Motions may include requests to exclude eyewitness testimony, to exclude statements taken in violation of the child’s Miranda rights, etc. Counsel will be engaged in negotiations with the State Attorney during this time. If the matter is not resolved through an agreement, or otherwise dismissed, then the case will proceed to trial.

Trial in a juvenile matter will be presided over and decided by the judge. There are no juries in juvenile court. The State’s Attorney will make an opening statement. The defense will then make their opening statement and the prosecutor will present their evidence and witnesses. The defense will then make its case and the prosecution will offer “rebuttal” evidence. Rebuttal is not a time for the prosecution to make new arguments; they may only use this part of the case to directly respond to any claims made by the defense. Each side will then make a closing argument and the Judge will issue his or her decision. If the child is found to have committed assault and battery then they will be adjudicated as a “delinquent.” The Court will decide punishment at a later date.

Retain a Peoria juvenile attorney if your child was charged with assault and battery

If your child was charged with assault and battery then it is important to retain a lawyer as soon as possible. It is important to understand that the situation can have a long-lasting impact on their future. While juvenile records are generally sealed, your child may have to disclose the offense when applying for professional licenses later in life. They may also have difficulty obtaining security clearances. While it is understandable that you wish to discipline your child, you must ensure that their rights are protected. As a Peoria juvenile defense attorney, I am familiar with handling such matters. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation.  I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.