When children face charges, many parents believe the solution is an easy one. Their children will face these charges as minors, serve a light sentence or none at all and then they can expunge the records later. This allows them to get a fresh start by adulthood. Unfortunately, this does not always work as planned in Illinois.

Illinois often charges minors as adults. It might come down to how serious the charges are, how strong the evidence is and whether the courts consider the child a repeat offender.

When to act

FOX 31 reports that when children allegedly commit crimes, law enforcement officers inform the parents. The officer who conducted the arrest then files a complaint form with the juvenile intake officer. From there, a judge determines whether minors return to their parents and reclaim their freedoms or go to trial. Subsequently, the best time to act is as soon as possible.

What the options are

Provided that the allegations are not serious, your child might receive community service or face mandatory attendance requirements to specific programs. If your child refuses to cooperate with release restrictions, he or she could end up behind bars. The programs also often provide rehabilitative services, such as drug rehab or teaching healthy coping mechanisms.

In fact, law enforcement and local communities believe that these programs do a much better job at reducing crime rates and steering children on the right path. This is especially important when children did not commit the crimes officers accused them of but might need to reconsider friend choices or found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.