Juvenile offenses in the state of New Jersey are taken very seriously. It is important to be aware that juveniles in New Jersey are treated differently than adults are. There are a number of different situations in which a juvenile can be charged as an adult, which while rare, result in much harsher consequences. Some juvenile crimes that may result in a minor being charged as an adult include murder, assault, rape, and other serious crimes.
There are a few major differences between being charged as a juvenile and as an adult in New Jersey. First, if a juvenile is charged with a criminal offense, their legal matter will be handled in the family division of the New Jersey Superior Court. There is no jury for juvenile proceedings and instead, the matter is heard by a panel of elected individuals from the family division. Juveniles are required to have legal representation if they are charged with an offense at the expense of their parents. If a parent does not feel as though they can afford to hire an attorney, they may request a public defender but this is rarely granted. In some cases, the judge in the case may also request that an investigation is done into the child’s home life and behavior at school.
When a juvenile offense is moved up to the adult criminal court, they are facing an uncertain future. Many studies show that when a juvenile is placed in adult criminal court, there is a negative impact on their psychological state for years to come. They may also have a more serious criminal sentence and be subject to the No Early Release Act.
If your child has been charged with an offense in New Jersey, contact Rem Law Group, P.C.