My Teenager Has Been Charged With an Ordinance Violation. Do We Need an Attorney?
DuPage County Juvenile Lawyer Serving Wheaton, Hinsdale, Oak Brook and Surrounding Areas
If your teenaged child has been issued or charged with an ordinance violation, it is important to enlist the help of a qualified defense attorney, even if your child actually committed the offense. A lawyer can assist you in finding options that avoid a permanent mark on your child’s record and protect your child’s future.
Understanding Ordinance Violations
Many cities, towns, and villages in Illinois have adopted parts of the state’s criminal laws into their own municipal codes. Violations of the municipal code may be prosecuted as ordinance violations instead of criminal offenses. Technically, an ordinance violation is not a criminal matter, and most are punishable by fines only. The practical consequences, however, may be more severe. And, while you may want to allow your child to suffer the consequences of their actions, it is important to consider the long-term impact.
Shoplifting is an offense that is often handled as an ordinance violation. If your child, for example, was stopped by store security for stealing merchandise and the police are called, there are three basic options. Your child could face prosecution by the county State’s Attorney for a misdemeanor charge of retail theft, or your child could be arrested, booked, and released with an ordinance violation. As a third option, the police could issue an ordinance violation on the scene—similar to a traffic ticket—with a date to appear in court.
In all three situations, a permanent record is created, and with very few exceptions, the records are accessible to the public. This means they could show up on a background check during the application process for a job, housing, educational programs, or loans.
Skilled Wheaton Ordinance Violations Attorneys
By retaining an attorney right away, you and your child can avoid making hasty decisions that could follow your child for many years to come. An experienced lawyer can help you explore options that might allow your child to avoid pleading guilty through diversion or deferral programs. Your child may still face certain consequences, but the impact on the future could be reduced.
Contact our office to learn more about our firm and how we can help. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 today. We serve DuPage County, Kane County, and surrounding areas.