Juvenile Court Defense Attorney Serving Will, DuPage, and Kane Counties

Representation in Illinois Juvenile Court Proceedings

All attorneys in juvenile court are not created equally. Every attorney who's competent to handle an adult criminal case is not competent to handle a juvenile case. Many juvenile delinquency cases allow for incarceration and juvenile court cases have a distinct set of rules and procedures. Juvenile court cases alleging neglect and abuse also involve the rules and regulations of the Department of Children and Family Services. These cases can be very complicated. The Law Office of Vincent F. Cornelius is seasoned and experienced in handling all such matters.

What to Expect

Before a client even meets with juvenile court attorney, Vincent F Cornelius, the attorneys in the firm have already began to research the important issues of the case. Whether the case involves allegations of juvenile delinquency, abuse or neglect, the case will impact the lives of young people and their families for many years to come. A former juvenile court prosecutor, Mr. Cornelius knows this all too well and he uses his extensive experience to look for options and alternatives suited to the case.

If you need a Chicago area juvenile law attorney who knows the law and undertakes a thorough investigation of the facts, contact Chicago metro area juvenile defense lawyer Vincent Cornelius. Mr. Cornelius is a former Juvenile Court prosecutor with twenty years of experience in juvenile court cases. He serves clients throughout the surrounding suburban areas of Will, DuPage, and Kane and DeKalb counties.

Juvenile Delinquency Matters - An Overview

Juvenile delinquency law deals with crimes and offenses committed by children who are referred to as minors. The maximum age allowed for a case prosecuted in the juvenile court is sixteen for most juvenile felony offenses, and seventeen years of age for juvenile misdemeanor offenses. If your minor child has been charged with a crime in juvenile court, the law requires that he or she be represented by an attorney.

Minors involved in juvenile court matters have most of the same rights adults would have if they were charged with a criminal offense. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to cross-examine witnesses against them, and the right to require that the State prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, in Illinois, juvenile court records are not open to the public. Juvenile court records are sealed, to prevent access to them by employers, colleges and the general public.

Juvenile Court Philosophy

In recent years the approach of the adult court has become more focused on punishment than rehabilitation. Juvenile court has a somewhat different emphasis. The focus of the juvenile court is to ensure the welfare, safety, and guidance of minors, to preserve and strengthen the minor's ties with the family when possible, and to reform youthful offenders, giving consideration to the safety of the public.

Juveniles are adjudicated delinquent minors if found guilty of an offense, as opposed to being convicted of a crime in adult cases. A juvenile adjudication will generally not be considered a conviction for a crime, for purposes of future job applications. In recent years, Illinois has made the emphasis of juvenile court more like that of adult court, with a focus on the punishment of young offenders in certain types of cases. More juveniles are being tried in adult courts. An experienced defense attorney can explain these issues in greater detail.

Juvenile Adjudication

If a juvenile is found to be guilty of a crime or offense, he or she may receive court supervision, probation, or a sentence requiring them to serve time in a juvenile correctional facility. An experienced juvenile defense attorney can zealously defend the matter at trial or work with prosecutors to negotiate a resolution that provides for the least severe punishment, depending upon which approach is appropriate.

Juvenile Neglect and Abuse

Many juvenile cases also involve minor children who are alleged to have been neglected and/or abused. These cases almost always involve the Department of Children and Family Services as well as local law enforcement. These cases are very intimidating and potentially harmful to the entire family structure, particularly when the facts of the case are misinterpreted by law enforcement and social service agencies. They have long term consequences and they require the most knowledgeable and aggressive defenses.


Standing accused in a juvenile courtroom is a frightening and stressful event. Having your child removed from your home is even more frightening. You should secure skilled and knowledgeable counsel who will assist you in navigating the juvenile justice system, and provide a zealous defense in order to minimize the impact on your child's life. Do not delay in contacting an experienced juvenile defense attorney.

Contact a Lawyer

To find out more about juvenile crime defense, or another area of juvenile law, contact an attorney to schedule a free consultation.

Joliet Office: 815-723-7300

Wheaton Office: 630-665-6644

Free initial consultation. Major credit cards accepted.

Vincent F. Cornelius
Chicago Criminal Law Attorney
Serving Chicago, Joliet, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton
and other city and suburban areas

Contact Us

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.