About New Jersey Juvenile Crimes
Juveniles are subject to the same criminal laws as aduls in New Jersey. While the Court process for juvenile matters is different from cases involving adults, the potential penalties can be just as serious. As a result, if your child or loved one has been accused of a crime, it is imperative that you understand the law and your rights, and consult an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney.
Juvenile cases are heard in the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part, in the county where the offense allegedly occurred. As such, the young defendants are required to appear before a Superior Court Judge. All prosecutor’s offices in New Jersey have juvenile crimes units, made up of assistant prosecutors responsible for these types of matters. If the crime is deemed to be especially serious, the State may petition to have the matter heard in adult criminal court. Your juvenile defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor or, if necessary, conduct a trial before the Judge.
Juvenile cases span a wide area of charges, including assault, drug possession, theft, robbery, burglary, resisting arrest, aggravated assault and internet crimes. An experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer can advise you of the particular elements the State must prove to bring a case involving any of these charges.
While every case is different, New Jersey embraces a public policy of rehabilitation when it comes to most juvenile offenders. The process is intended to address criminal activity in a way that will discourage the young defendant from committing such acts in the future. To this end, your defense attorney and the prosecutor will often agree to diversionary programs, which are alternatives to traditional prosecution. Such resolutions may include probationary conditions which, if successfully completed, may result in an ultimate dismissal of charges.
While public access to juvenile records is restricted, a conviction of any crime will remain on the juvenile’s record for life. The only way to have the conviction removed is to seek an expungement. Our juvenile criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience filing applications for expungement.
Sometimes youthful indiscretions can present lifelong consequences. As a result, it is important that you have access to an experienced and capable juvenile defense attorney. We are available for free consultation at any time.