Juvenile Justice System Process in Kane County

What do I do if the police want to talk to my child?

  • Your child is NOT obligated to speak to the police
  • You are NOT obligated to bring your child in for an interview with the police
  • Things to keep in mind:
    • The police officer is trying to do their job and clear the case; they want to determine what consequence is appropriate for your child
    • Anything your child says to the police can be held against them
    • If you choose NOT to speak with the police, your case can still be referred to court

What happens if I allow my child to talk to the police?

  • Your child has the right to an attorney to be present with them during the interview
    • This would be a private attorney hired at your expense
    • If you have the means, at least consulting with an attorney prior to the interview is recommended
  • If you choose not to get an attorney and proceed with questioning, questioning can stop at any point to get an attorney
  • In order to prepare your child for the interview, it is important to let them know the following:
    • Anything he/she says will be recorded
    • He/she cannot take anything back
    • Remind them to be respectful/courteous

What is the role of the juvenile police officer?

  • This officer may be present in the interview with your child
  • He/she is a police officer that works with juveniles, not necessarily an advocate for your child

What do I do when my child is held in custody?

  • The child must be brought in front of a judge within 40 hours for a detention hearing
    • This does not include holidays, Saturday, Sunday
  • Your child will be housed in the Kane County Juvenile Detention Center
  • If your child is in treatment/the hospital at the time of arrest, the 40 hours will not begin until they are released from the treatment facility

What is a detention hearing?

  • Held to determine probable cause
  • State’s Attorney will file a petition against the child that explains the charges against the child

When is the detention hearing?

In Kane County, hearings are held at 1:30 PM each day.

Do I need to be present at the detention hearing?

  • Yes, parents need to be present
  • If a parent is not present, the child will remain in custody until the court can get a parent to attend
  • It is important to note that the law REQUIRES that you have an attorney present as well
    • Can hire a private attorney OR the court will appoint one
    • If you intent to hire a private attorney, but do not have a chance before the hearing:
      • The court could continue the hearing (your child would remain in custody until the next court date)
      • A public defender could be appointed just for that particular hearing

Will the court continue to detain my child after this hearing?

  • During the hearing, the court will determine whether or not there is an urgent and immediate need to detain the child
  • The child could also be placed with the Department of Child and Family services if necessary
  • If there is not an urgent or immediate need, the child will be released to the parent
    • The child may have certain conditions if released, such as curfew, home detention, or restricted from seeing certain people

What is the next step after the detention hearing?

  • If the child is released to the parent or placed back into detention, the case will move forward to trial or a plea agreement.