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What Are Defenses to a Juvenile Criminal Trespass Charge?

 Posted on September 05, 2023 in Juvenile Offenses

Naperville, IL juvenile defense lawyerAs a parent, you must understand how to mount a defense when your child has been charged with criminal trespass in Illinois. There are a few common defenses that can be used in this scenario. These defenses can help make it easier on your child when dealing with the legal repercussions of the charges they may be facing.

To understand the legal proceedings, when a child is charged with criminal trespass, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An Illinois criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges against your child and develop a defense strategy that preserves your child’s rights.

Expressed or Implied Consent

A child with consent from the property owner or occupant to be on the property cannot be charged with criminal trespass. This consent can be express or implied. Express consent means that the property owner or occupant explicitly gave your child permission to be on the property. Implied consent is when the property owner or occupant's actions or words indicated that they were okay with your child being on the property.

A Possible Mistake of Fact

Did your child mistakenly believe that they had the right to be on the property? Then they may not be guilty of criminal trespass. For example, if your child thought that the property was abandoned or that they were invited onto the property, they may have a mistake of fact defense.

The Necessity Defense

The necessity defense is a legal defense that allows a person to be excused from criminal liability if their actions were necessary to avoid greater harm. To successfully raise a necessity defense, the defendant must show that:

  • They reasonably believed that their actions were necessary to avoid greater harm

  • The harm they were trying to avoid was greater than the harm caused by their actions

  • They had no other reasonable alternative but to commit the crime

In the context of criminal trespass, a necessity defense might apply if a person entered a property without permission to:

  • Flee from danger

  • Help someone in need

  • Prevent a crime from being committed

  • Protect property from damage

Was There Entrapment?

If your child was entrapped by the police into committing criminal trespass, they may not be guilty of the crime. Entrapment occurs when the police induce someone to commit a crime that they would not have committed otherwise.

Age is More Than Just a Number

In Illinois, juveniles are presumed to be less culpable than adults for their actions. This means that the prosecution has a higher burden of proof in juvenile criminal cases. As a result, a juvenile may be able to avoid serious punishment for criminal trespass even if the evidence against them is strong.

Contact an Illinois Juvenile Criminal Trespass Defense Lawyer

Regardless of the charges, your child deserves to present a solid defense for their case. As a Naperville, IL juvenile criminal defense attorney with many years of experience, Attorney Philip R. Nathe can help. The Law Office of Philip R. Nathe believes that children deserve second chances and will fight to provide your child with the defense they deserve. Call the office right now at 630-416-7600 to set up a free consultation and safeguard your child’s future.

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