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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27749
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My son who was 17 at the time crossed a railroad track not

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My son who was 17 at the time crossed a railroad track not a a cross walk but there was no fencing or signs and he got a ticket for trespassing, we now have to go to court and he is 18, the police department release his records and it was in the newspaper that he did this they even said he was 17... can they do that and will this go on his permanent record??

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced criminal lawyer. Before I address your question please tell me:

Is this being handled in juvenile or adult court? Please use the reply tab below to respond.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not really sure the officer said he had to go to court because he was under 18.

Hi Sandy,

If he is a 17 year old in Illinois, the matter is a juvenile offense. Once he turns 18, he would go to adult court. If he has to appear in juvenile court, they do not have jurisdiction over this matter because he is too old for it. The judge will move this to adult court.

One way or the other, an offense like this is not likely to ruin his whole life. Here is the statute under which he was charged. It is a Class C misdemeanor, which does have the potential to give him a criminal record. In Illinois it carries a maximum possible penalty of 30 days, but the odds of his having to serve an incarcertory sentence are nil. Additionally, assuming the matter can't be dismissed outright or reduced to a violation, it would be entirely possible and appropriate for him to be offered a disposition that would get this matter dismissed at the close of a brief period of supervision and some fines and community service. In that way he need not carry a conviction on his record for the rest of his life. He may also be able to get it expunged down the road so that even the dismissal can't be found.

Arrests are a matter of public record. Some community papers publish who the police arrest, so yes, they can do that. The fact is, he's not 17 but 18 and he lied to the police which actually can be prosecuted as a separate crime. So you can talk to your son's lawyer about that, but my instinct is that you should leave that alone.

You should see to it that he has a lawyer. He's at a sensitive age and if there's any chance of his coming out of this squeaky clean, it will be with a lawyer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He didn't lie to the police he gave them his drivers licence and he was 17 at the time. He just had his Birthday and now is 18 and his court date is in a couple of weeks! So you recommend we get a lawyer and my question I guess is that is the sentence at the time of court appearance or the day of the crime? And do we have any defense that there were no signs and he was just suppose to know not to cross there?


I misunderstood that he was actually a juvenile at the time of the incident, so thanks for filling me in.

He was 17 when he was arrested and that's the time that counts. Even though he's now 18 the case will be handled as a juvenile matter and he will be sentenced as a juvenile. The good news with that is that Illinois will expunge juvenile matters and it's fairly certain for something like this that he'll be able to get a diversion disposition which I spoke of above as a worst case scenario.

All the same, I have always been of the belief that criminal matters can have lifetime consequences and that a lawyer can always be useful. You probably won't absolutely need one but when you child's future is at stake, if you can afford to retain him counsel, you may want to err on the side of caution.

Zoey_ JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for information and advice!

You're very welcome, and good luck!