Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

Kids make mistakes. In fact, making mistakes and learning from them is a major part of growing up. However, when a person under the age of 18 commits a crime, he or she can still face serious consequences. Read on to learn more about juvenile crimes in New Jersey. 

What are the goals of a juvenile proceeding?

The two main goals of a juvenile proceeding are to hold the child accountable for their actions and rehabilitate them. The first step of this process is determining whether the individual is guilty of committing the crime they have been accused of. If the child is found guilty, the court will make a decision about consequences based on the nature of the crime, its severity, the age of the offender, and any prior record.

What is the process of a juvenile proceeding?

A juvenile proceeding may involve: 

  • Juvenile Conference Committee or Intake Services Conference
    • The juvenile and their parents talk about the case with a trained citizen volunteer panel or a Judiciary staff person. It is important to know that this process is informal and does not determine delinquency. 
  • Juvenile referee/Informal court
    • Like any criminal case, a hearing takes place where the juvenile is expected to admit to or deny committing the crime. The facts of the case will be reviewed in order to determine delinquency so that recommendations can be made to the judge. 
  • Judge/Formal court
    • A judge oversees a court hearing during which the juvenile will plead guilty or not guilty, and the court can order a consequence for rehabilitation.

What consequences can a juvenile face?

If found guilty, a juvenile can face a variety of consequences for their actions. This may include the following:

  • Community service
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Release to a parent or guardian
  • Required support services or parental involvement
  • Residential mental health and/or substance abuse and alcohol treatment
  • Restitution
  • Transfer of custody
  • Secure confinement/incarceration
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • Work, outdoor, academic, and/or vocational programs

If your child is facing criminal charges, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney will work to protect your child. Reach out to our firm to discuss your case as soon as possible.

Contact our experienced Red Bank firm

Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.