Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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Jail time more likely for Illinois teens on probation

When an adult is put on probation, he or she is generally only asked to refrain from committing a crime. If a minor is put on probation, he or she may be given a long list of restrictions that may apply until the minor is 21-years-old. Should any of these guidelines not be met, that teen could spend time in a juvenile facility. Most states are allowed to ask children to wear electronic bracelets that monitor their activities.

Although probation was meant to be an alternate form of punishment designed to keep kids out of juvenile detention facilities, it may not be working as intended. In one California county, probation violations are the top reason why minor offenders are held in detention facilities. Those who study the issue believe that most who are put on probation start out as a low-risk to offend in the future.

However, putting kids in the system may put them at a higher risk for being sent to detention facilities. For example, one teen claims he could be detained for reasons as simple as disobeying his parents or going out for a walk. The 18-year-old had been on probation since stealing a pair of sneakers when he was 15-years-old, and his mother claimed it put an undue burden on both her and her son.

Those who are facing criminal charges may wish to consult with an attorney who focuses on criminal law cases. It may be possible to create a defense to charges such as claiming that the defendant had an alibi at the time the crime was committed. It may also be possible to argue that the defendant was forced to commit an act under threat of harm. This may be enough to have the charge dropped before going to trial.

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