Juvenile crimes may affect Illinois teens more than they realize

Albert L. Wysocki, A Professional Corporation

Kids will be kids, but sometimes kids’ behaviors can result in being picked up by the police, even for something as seemingly minor as a scuffle between school girls. That’s just one of many juvenile crimes that may result in an arrest that may not go any further than being taken to a police station to cool off; however, it may also include being fingerprinted and photographed.

One young woman who grew up in the Chicago area got an unwelcome surprise the day she thought her nursing license from the state of Illinois had finally arrived in the mail. It wasn’t a nursing license, but instead a letter from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation stating she was prohibited from practice.

Stunned, the young woman saw the letter referenced a date that went back to an incident that occurred when she was in the 8th grade. She had been arrested for getting into a fight with another girl at school. Both girls were picked up by police who happened to be nearby. They were transported to the police station to cool off, fingerprinted and photographed. Although the incident was all but forgotten by the young woman, it wasn’t forgotten by the Federal Bureau of Investigation when her fingerprints turned up during a background check that was necessary before the woman could work as a registered nurse in Illinois.

Any child 10 years of age or older in Illinois who is arrested for a Class A or Class B misdemeanor is fingerprinted and photographed, resulting in an arrest record that can turn up later in life.

In the case of the young woman who aspired to be a nurse, she did achieve her goal, but not before seeking legal advice and having her record expunged. Criminal charges including minor drug crime charges and juvenile crimes can be damaging, but by consulting a criminal defense attorney, some folks may be able to get the help they need to get their records cleared of past mistakes so that they can focus on brighter futures.

Source: WBEZ, “Why is it so hard to expunge juvenile records in Cook County,” Linda Paul, Feb. 4, 2013.

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Juvenile crimes may affect Illinois teens more than they realize