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Exploring Juvenile Diversion Programs in IllinoisParenting is hard work. You spend years of your life raising your child from a bouncing baby boy into the strapping young man he is becoming. You would like to think that he has a good moral compass and a sense of what is right and what is wrong. The last thing you want to hear is that your child has gotten himself into trouble with the law. That phone call can be devastating, but now there is one question that keeps running through your mind: what will happen to my child? Depending on what your child has done, he may be eligible to participate in a juvenile diversion program, which is one of the more favorable outcomes of a juvenile offense.

What is a Diversion Program?

Juvenile diversion programs were designed as an alternative to juvenile detention. Juvenile offenders who are convicted of minor offenses can participate in diversion programs. These programs are typically community-based and smaller-scale, which make them more effective at addressing and preventing future delinquency.

The primary goal of juvenile diversion is to reduce the number of juveniles in out-of-home placements after a conviction. Each diversion program is different, but they all have the same end goal: to educate and rehabilitate the juvenile offenders in an effort to prevent future delinquency and mold them into law-abiding citizens. Juvenile diversion programs typically offer services such as:

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How Can an Illinois Order of Protection Affect Me?Unfortunately, domestic violence is a fairly common occurrence in the U.S. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there are more than 12 million people who experience some form of domestic violence each year. Domestic violence is a crime that is taken very seriously in Illinois and is punished accordingly. There are options available to victims of domestic violence to help combat their situations, such as getting an order of protection against the abuser. An order of protection is a legal document signed by a judge that requires the alleged abuser to stop further abuse and to stay away from the victim.

Contents of an Order of Protection

When someone requests an order of protection against you, the judge will decide what kind of stipulations are in the order. There are many things that can be required or prohibited in an order of protection. Orders of protection can prohibit you from:

  • Harassing, intimidating, stalking or abusing the person who requested the order;
  • Entering or remaining in your residence;
  • Being in the presence of the person who requested the order;
  • Going to the person’s school, residence or workplace;
  • Taking, transferring or concealing certain property;
  • Possessing a firearm;
  • Having contact with minor children;
  • Accessing your minor children’s records; and
  • Entering or remaining in your residence while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

An order of protection can also require you to:

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Cook County juvenile justice lawyerThe juvenile justice system was created with the understanding that children are different from adults, mainly because they have more of a chance of reforming their behavior before they reach adulthood. In 1899, Illinois was the first state to create a justice system for children that was separate than the one for adults. Though the juvenile justice systems of today are much different than they were 100 years ago, they retain the same idea -- that the main goal is to educate the child and change their behavior, rather than punish them.

Even though there is a separate court for those who are under the age of 18, not all juvenile offenders are tried as minors. Many juvenile criminal cases are transferred to adult court, which works quite differently. If a prosecutor feels the need, they can request that a juvenile be tried as an adult, but the judge must consider a number of factors before this happens.

Age and Background of the Child

First and foremost, a judge will consider the child’s age when deciding whether or not to transfer a criminal case to adult court. In Illinois, most cases involving juveniles age 17 or younger will stay in juvenile court, though there are certain offenses that will automatically go to adult court, such as murder. The judge will also consider the child’s history, such as previous criminal arrests, previous neglect or abuse to the child, and the child’s mental health and educational history.

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Vincent CorneliusAt the Fotopoulos Law Office, we want to offer our sincere congratulations to Vincent F. Cornelius, who was recently elected as a judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court of Will County. We believe that Vince will provide justice and fairness in the cases that enter his courtroom.

For decades, Vince Cornelius has been a shining light in the legal community in Will County and throughout the state of Illinois. He has tried hundreds of civil and criminal cases in Will, DuPage, Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Grundy, Kendall, and DeKalb Counties, providing dedicated, personal advocacy for his clients. He has defended clients charged with a wide variety of criminal offenses, from homicide and white collar crimes to DUI and traffic violations, and he has been involved in the settlement of multi-million dollar personal injury cases.

In addition to his advocacy for clients in the courtroom, Vince is dedicated to serving the legal community. He is the past president of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Foundation, the past Chancellor of the Illinois Academy of Lawyers, a founding board member of the Black Bar Association of Will County, and a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Will County Bar Association, and the National College for DUI Defense. He has served on the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Law Reform and on the Board of Visitors of Northern Illinois University College of Law.

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assault, battery, Orland Park criminal defense attorney, police excessive force,  criminal chargesThis past January, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) completed a formal investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD), specifically the misuse and overuse of force in ways that violate the civil rights of Illinois residents. The DOJ found there was “reasonable cause to believe” that CPD officers routinely took part in acts that “unnecessarily endanger themselves and result in unnecessary and avoidable uses of force.” This was not the result of a few bad officers, the DOJ said, but rather a system-wide “failure to train officers in de-escalation and the failure to conduct meaningful investigations of uses of force.”

IL Judges Reverse Battery Conviction of Man Tased Repeatedly by Police

There are many cases where police not only use excessive force, they turn around and charge the victim with a crime, such as assault and battery. Sadly, many of these victims-turned-defendants suffer from mental illness. The DOJ report noted that many law enforcement officers are not properly trained to deal with “complex situations” involving people with mental health problems and, as a result, the situation quickly escalates.

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National Rifle Association Illinois State Bar Association Chicago Bar Association Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Cook County Bar Association National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys The John Marshall Law School Hellenic Bar Association Will County Bar Association National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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