The law and process for handling juvenile offenses is much different in New Jersey than what applies in adult cases. Every complaint that is filed against a juvenile must be centrally filed at Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and thereafter a juvenile delinquency case is commenced in the Family Division of the Superior Court in Mt. Holly. While the court applies the same burden of proof (i.e. beyond reasonable doubt) and criminal laws in these proceedings to determine guilt or innocence, there is no right to a jury trial. All issues of fact and law are decided by a juvenile delinquency Judge. The first appearance in the case is the mandatory assignment of counsel hearing where the parents of the accused may either apply for a public defender or appear with private counsel. There is no other option in a juvenile case as the law requires that every child be represented by an attorney. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have served in the role of juvenile defense lawyers in countless cases spanning over 20 years. With 7 attorneys whose practices are dedicated to defending criminal case and nothing else, we possess the main power and resources that no other Burlington County Office can offer. Call our Mt. Laurel firm to discuss your juvenile case at 856-234-8900. The initial consultation is free.
Burlington County Juvenile Offenses
A juvenile may be charged with any offense set forth under the New Jersey Criminal Code. The related charges can only be decided in one place, however, at the Superior Court in Mount Holly. This is where juvenile disorderly persons offenses are dealt with, for example, marijuana possession, disorderly conduct, simple assault, and harassment. The same is the case for first degree, second degree, third degree and fourth degree crimes filed against minors. This would include cases involving drug distribution (e.g. marijuana, heroin, MDMA, prescription drugs), robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, and terroristic threats. The attorneys at our firm are skilled in defending all of these charges.
Frequently Asked Questions: Burlington County Juvenile Charges
Can the Police or School Administrators speak to my child without a parent or an attorney being present? Unfortunately, the law is such in NJ that a child may be questioned by police or a school without their parent or even a lawyer. In accordance with State in the Interests of R.W., the police are permitted to question a child without a parent or even standard Miranda warnings. The questioning must, however, be conducted with the utmost fairness given the age of the child and only after efforts have been made to locate a parent. The law is such that, whenever possible, parents should be present during questioning.
Will my child have a record if they are convicted in Juvenile Court. No. All proceedings in the Burlington County Juvenile Court are closed and records are sealed. Any record of conviction is not subject to discovery except by law enforcement and, in limited circumstances, the school the juvenile attends.
Is there a possibility my child could go to jail? Unless your child is waived up to the Criminal Division and tried as an adult, there is no possibility for incarceration in jail or prison. Children may, however, be sent to the Burlington County Juvenile Detention Center or remanded to the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission for assignment to state juvenile facility.
Who decides whether my child is held in custody? Unlike in adult cases where there is an opportunity to post bail, there is no security that is posted in order to secure release with a juvenile offense. Central intact must initially review the circumstances of the charge, including the severity of the offense and any prior record, and determine whether the child should be released from custody. If it is believed that the juvenile poses a threat to commit further violations or that it is in his/her best interests to remain in custody, they may be held. Without a short period, within 48 hours, they must be brought before a Juvenile Judge who is to determine whether the child should be detained or released. This proceeding is referred to as a Retention Hearing.
Mt. Holly NJ Juvenile Defense Attorneys
The manner in which juvenile proceedings are conducted and how punishment is to be applied is different in the Burlington County Juvenile Division than in the criminal courts. In order to insure that your child has the best representation, you need to select an attorney with knowledge and experience defending juvenile charges. The lawyers on our defense team possess over 100 years in practice defending juvenile offenses like the one filed against your child. We are prepared to put all of our resources in action for you. Call us at 856-234-8900 to speak to a juvenile defense attorney immediately or to set up an appointment in our Mt. Laurel Office.