3 Juvenile Criminal Defense Questions
If your child has been arrested for a criminal charge, you may be feeling terrified. Good kids make bad choices, and when that happens, finding the best juvenile criminal defense attorney is essential to minimizing the consequences of these actions.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Question #1: What are the penalties for juvenile crimes?
In New Jersey, a juvenile offense has a broad range of penalties. Whenever juveniles involved in an alleged criminal act, the courts ordinarily try to put themselves in a position where they want to benefit the child in the long run. Juvenile detention is usually a last resort, usually for very serious charges or for people who have had many, many different offenses and just haven’t been able to rectify their aberrant behavior.
The penalties can range anything from writing an essay to a judge or to a victim, all the way up to juvenile detention. Very often, if it’s a serious enough charge but detention is not required or recommended, a period of adjustment, which is kind of like being on probation where a juvenile might have to attend some classes or some therapy and then prove to the court that they are not aberrant any longer and can handle the rigors of growing up.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Question #2: Where will my child’s criminal charge be heard?
When your child is arrested in New Jersey, the case will ordinarily be in the courthouse of the town where they were arrested. For instance, if your child is arrested in Fairview, New Jersey, and it is a municipal court matter which means it’s a traffic offense or a disorderly person offense or a petty disorderly person offense such as a shoplifting or possession of marijuana or a small quantity of drugs, that will go to the municipal court in that individual town.
However, if it’s an indictable offense, the case can or will be sent for the county prosecutor, in this example, the Bergen County prosecutor’s offense, to review, to determine whether or not they, the prosecutor, will prosecute the case at the county level. In this scenario would be Hackensack, New Jersey.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Question #3: What should you do if your child is arrested for a crime?
If your child is charged with a crime in the state of New Jersey, you should seek an attorney who has handled cases like this before. I have handled juvenile matters in the superior court and the family court and I have experience. One of the things you need to know is that the court, in most instances, is trying to look out for the best interest of the child, and while punishment might be an element of the best interest of that child, the court is not trying to put the child on the wrong path, they’re actually trying to correct that behavior.
If your child needs a juvenile criminal defense attorney, please call our New Jersey office and schedule a free consultation today.