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New Jersey Laws Regarding Juvenile Offenders

When a minor commits a crime in New Jersey, they are dealt with under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. Unlike the adult criminal justice system, which is focused on punishment, the juvenile justice system is focused on rehabilitation. While the state has a separate system for dealing with juvenile offenders, the penalties and consequences for their actions can still be severe. It is important to understand the laws regarding juvenile offenders in New Jersey to ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive fair treatment under the law.

Juvenile Delinquency in New Jersey

A "juvenile delinquent" is a young person who has committed an offense that would be against the law if an adult had done it. The age range for juvenile offenders in New Jersey is 10 to 17 years old.

In New Jersey, the Family Part of the Superior Court has jurisdiction over all cases involving juvenile delinquency. The state's juvenile justice system is based on the belief that rehabilitation and treatment should be the primary goals of the system rather than punishment. The JJC offers many services for juvenile offenders, including detention, probation, and community-based programs.


When a juvenile is arrested in New Jersey, they may be placed in a juvenile detention center. Juvenile detention centers are secure facilities where minors are kept while they are being tried or given a sentence. The goal of detention is to keep the minor safe and prevent them from committing further crimes.


Probation is a common sentence for juvenile offenders in New Jersey. When a minor is placed on probation, they are released into the community but are required to follow certain conditions. These conditions may include attending school, staying away from drugs and alcohol, and meeting regularly with a probation officer.

Community-Based Programs

In some cases, juvenile offenders in New Jersey may be placed in community-based programs instead of detention or probation. These programs are designed to provide minors with the support they need to make positive changes in their lives. Examples of community-based programs include counseling, mentoring, and education programs.


In New Jersey, juvenile records are generally sealed and not available to the public. However, there are certain circumstances under which a juvenile record may be expunged. If a juvenile has completed their sentence or has not committed any new offenses for a certain period of time, they may be eligible to have their record expunged.

Tried As An Adult

New Jersey's juvenile justice system allows for a range of sentencing options for juvenile offenders. The most common types of sentences for juvenile offenders include probation, community service, counseling, and restitution. However, in cases where the juvenile has committed a serious offense, the court may sentence them to a juvenile correctional facility until they turn 21 years old.

In some cases, a juvenile may be tried as an adult in New Jersey. This usually happens in cases where the juvenile has committed a serious crime, such as murder or aggravated assault. If a juvenile is tried as an adult, they will face the same penalties as an adult offender.

Rights of Juvenile Offenders in New Jersey

Juvenile offenders in New Jersey have the same rights as adult offenders. These rights include the right to an attorney, the right to a fair trial, the right to remain silent, and the right to confront witnesses. Juveniles also have the right to have their case heard by a judge and not a jury.

It is important to note that juveniles are not entitled to a public trial in New Jersey. Juvenile proceedings are generally closed to the public in order to protect the privacy of the juvenile offender.

Contact Davis Law Firm, LLC Today for a Free Consultation About Your Juvenile Criminal Defense

If your child has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, it's important to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney. Davis Law Firm, LLC, is a trusted legal team in Hamilton, New Jersey, with extensive experience in handling juvenile delinquency cases, and we understand the importance of protecting your child's future. Our experienced attorneys have a deep understanding of New Jersey's juvenile justice system and can help guide you and your child through the legal process. We believe in a personalized approach to each case, and we work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients. If your child has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, don't wait to seek legal representation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you and your child.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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