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Posted on in Juvenile

IL DUI lawyerEvery single year, hundreds of teens throughout the state of Illinois are arrested and charged with consuming alcohol as a minor. Due to the inherent risks that teenage alcohol consumption can have, such as alcohol poisoning and binge drinking, the potential legal consequences of a minor in possession charge can be extreme. Below we will examine some of the legal ramifications of teenage drinking, and how you should respond if your child has been charged with an underage drinking-related criminal offense.

The True Cost of Underage Drinking

When the vast majority of people think of underage drinking charges, they assume that the charges will likely lead to a slap on the wrist, the reality is that underage drinking charges can potentially jeopardize your child’s future. According to Illinois state law, possession, consumption, or purchase of alcohol by a minor (anyone below the legal drinking age of 21) constitutes a Class A misdemeanor charge, fines up to $2,500, and potentially significant jail-time. It is worth noting that a charge involving fraudulent identification or the act of impersonating another person in order to purchase or consume alcohol can result in felony charges. Whether your child has been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, a criminal conviction of this magnitude can impact their educational and occupational opportunities.

When it comes to drinking and driving, minors face increasingly strict state laws. Due to Illinois’ Zero Tolerance policy, a teenage driver can face a three-month driving suspension simply for having a blood alcohol content over 0.00. If the teen refuses chemical testing, such as a breathalyzer test, they will face an automatic six-month suspension. Much like an adult, if a teen is charged with a DUI, they will face Class A misdemeanor charges. The significant difference in the charge is the fact that a teenage driver will face a two-year license revocation period if convicted.

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IL defense lawyerHere in the state of Illinois, the way in which a juvenile is tried in court will depend entirely on the crime they committed. If the crime is a serious criminal offense, that would likely constitute a felony charge, such as a sexual assault or homicide charge, they will likely be charged as an adult. For other offenses, such as a minor in possession of drugs or alcohol charge, the juvenile will be tried in juvenile court. While the vast majority of juvenile court mandates revolve around probation, rehabilitation, and possible fines, the long-term implications of a juvenile crime can last a lifetime. Below we will take a brief look at juvenile arrest rates throughout the United States, and the potential consequences a juvenile could face after an arrest.

Juvenile Arrest Rates on the Decline

Nationwide, juvenile arrest rates appear to be on the decline. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 2016 marked one of the lowest statistical years for juvenile crime in recent memory. Serious juvenile crimes such as violent crimes and robbery with an assault weapon had dropped to their lowest in over 5 years.

Equally encouraging is the fact that juvenile drug arrests were at their lowest level since 1990. In fact, juvenile arrests for all crimes and all racial groups have been declining since 2007. Still, the number of arrests are concerning especially as it pertains to drug and alcohol charges. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s statistical compiling, more than 36,000 American teens were arrested throughout 2016, for violating alcohol laws. Equally concerning, just under 100,000 American teens were arrested for drug abuse, in 2016 alone.

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Posted on in Juvenile

IL DUI lawyerRaising a child is never easy, raising a teenager can come with even more unforeseen challenges. Parents of teens constantly worry about their child drinking underage, for good reason too. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, teens aged 12 to 20 consume approximately 11% of the nation’s alcohol. While the vast majority of underage drinking concerns revolve around the health implications of alcohol consumption, the legal ramifications of an underage drinking charge can drastically change your child’s life.

Underage Drinking Charges in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, underage drinking comes with significant criminal punishments. According to state law, consumption or purchase of alcohol by a minor constitutes a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor can lead to up to one year in jail-time and fines as high as $2,500. Your child could also face a six-month license suspension, even if the minor was not operating a vehicle. Outside of the initial legal consequences, a conviction of this magnitude can impact your child’s options of advanced education opportunities.

There a number of ways in which underage drinking can come with even more severe criminal charges. If a minor attempts to purchase alcohol with a fake identification card, they may be facing felony charges. When a child is apprehended while driving under the influence of alcohol, the charges can significantly impact them for some time.

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Posted on in Juvenile

Naperville DUi Lawyer

As a parent, you have dreaded this day since the first time you handed your teenager the car keys and they took off without you. Getting a call that your teen is in trouble is always unsettling, no matter the situation. When that call is to inform you that your teen has been pulled over for drinking and driving, it can be devastating for both of you. 

Even though parents frequently stress the dangers of underage drinking and driving to their children, kids do not always listen, and parents are left to deal with the repercussions. Underage DUI can severely impact your child’s driving and criminal records. That could mean not getting into the college of their choice or other serious complications.

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1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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