No juvenile court for crimes begun as a minor but continue into adulthood. For example, take the charge of escape. In this case, Defendant was a minor when he cut his bracelet and ran. He was arrested after his birthday and legally an adult.
People v. Esparza, 2014 IL App (2nd) 130149 (August).
Defendant was convicted of escape (720 ILCS 5/31-6(a) and resisting or obstructing a peace officer (720 ILCS 5/31-1(a)) and was sentenced to 30 months probation and 180 days in jail.
At issue in this appeal is whether it was proper for defendant to be prosecuted in criminal court for escape where defendant was 16 when he initially fled from home detention but was 17 when he was arrested.
Defendant was on juvenile electronic home monitoring (EHM) and also known as house arrest. Defendant was 16 years when he went on EHM. He cut the thing off and disappeared. Defendant was arrested after he had turned 17 years of age and charged with escape.
The Illinois Compiled Statutes Juvenile Court Act of 1987 section 705 ILCS 405/5-120 is where we begin. This section is entitled “Exclusive jurisdiction,” defines what persons and crimes are covered by delinquency proceedings, as opposed to criminal prosecutions.
Specifically, it provides that the State may initiate delinquency proceedings against
“any minor who prior to the minor’s 17th birthday has violated or attempted to violate, regardless of where the act occurred, any federal or State law or municipal or county ordinance.” Id. Subject to enumerated exceptions that are inapplicable here, “no minor who was under 17 years of age at the time of the alleged offense may be prosecuted under the criminal laws of this State.” Id.
This section has since been amended, raising the age of adult prosecutions to 18 years of age.
Case law on this issue says that “escape encompasses not only the defendant’s initial departure but his failure to return to custody.” People v. Miller, 157 Ill. App. 3d 43, 45 (1987). This makes escape a continuing offense.
Holding – No Juvenile Court For Crimes Begun as a Minor
No juvenile court for crimes begun as a minor but continue into adulthood.
Escape is a continuing offense, that means the crime began when Defendant was 16 (when he took off the electronic bracelet) and continued into his 17th year of life. Because he was arrested after he turned 17, he could properly be prosecuted in adult criminal court.