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New Jersey Laws Regarding Juvenile Offenders

State and government laws are divided between adult and juvenile charges. This is because minors do not always have the necessary cognitive judgment needed to make good decisions. Additionally, a single mistake as a minor could negatively affect your life, well into your adult years.

Potential Consequences for a Juvenile Crime in New Jersey

Minors can be charged with many of the same crimes that an adult can, but to a lesser degree. The potential consequences for juvenile crimes in New Jersey tend to differ from adult charges. A few key differences include:

  • Jail alternatives: Requiring juveniles to serve time in jail is not always beneficial. New Jersey will sometimes consider alternatives to jail like home confinement, guardian replacement, juvenile detention, and probation. These programs tend to be less strict than a typical jail and focus more on the rehabilitation of the minor.
  • Verbal warning: Juveniles are more likely to have a first criminal offense waived and given a verbal warning.
  • Reduced fines: Juveniles are often ordered to pay less in restitution, because they might not have their own form of payment.
  • Community service: Many cities will sentence community service for juveniles as a substitute.
  • Drug or alcohol counseling: Drug or alcohol counseling might be used to combat an intoxication problem that might have led to the crime.
  • Mental health counseling: Mental health counseling might also be considered to assist the minor in coping with challenges using healthier methods.

The specific charges and requirements of a minor will depend on many factors. The court will often take into account the individual’s crime, age, family, and prior history. If the minor is considered a flight risk, the judge might order that the minor spend time in a juvenile detention center or that they wear an electronic monitoring unit.

Keeping New Jersey’s Minors Out of Jail

In most cases, minors will not be held in jail unless they are considered a danger or they might not return for their court date. Otherwise, the state aims to keep minors out of jail. If an individual is convicted of a crime, the state might order them to serve time in a juvenile detention center or to complete a period of house arrest.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You With Your Juvenile Criminal Charges

One criminal charge can impact a minor’s life for many years to come. It could prevent them from going to college or even getting a good career. A juvenile criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with representing minors in New Jersey will be a value to your case. Additionally, if your child has already been sentenced, it is possible that they are eligible for an appeal. An appeal could reduce sentencing and allow the minor to complete community service or probation hours in lieu of jail time.

It can feel confusing and overwhelming when your child is charged with a crime. You might feel like you can’t protect them from the outcome. Choosing the right legal team can help to protect your child from jail time or sentencing that could potentially affect them for the rest of their life.

Contact an Experienced Lawrence Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Juvenile Criminal Charges in New Jersey

Was your child arrested or charged with juvenile criminal charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with juvenile charges in Hamilton, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.

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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