Although the focus of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate rather than penalize minors who commit criminal offenses, there are significant consequences when a charge is filed. First and foremost, the juvenile must be represented by an attorney since New Jersey law requires that a minor have representation when they walk into the courthouse in Jersey City. You should also know that the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office can move to prosecute your son or daughter as an adult and expose them to the penalties that apply when the crime is committed by someone over eighteen (18) years of age. And even when this is not the case, your child faces penalties that include juvenile detention, probation, drug testing, counseling, etc. An attorney with years of juvenile defense experience ensures that your child’s future is fully protected and that they have every chance of achieving the best result in their criminal case.
The juvenile lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are highly skilled in defending children at the Family Division of Hudson County Superior Court. Our credentials for success include:
- Over 200 years of combined experience representing juveniles charged with drug possession, assault and distribution, theft, sex crimes and weapon offenses
- 10 lawyers whose practices are dedicated exclusively to criminal defense
- Former County Prosecutors that include a Director of the Juvenile Unit, Major Crimes, Drugs Task Force, Guns Task Force and an entire Trial Division
- Certified criminal trial attorneys on staff
We understand how troubling it can be to have a child arrested for a criminal offense, so we make one of our attorneys available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to answer your questions and address your concerns. Initial consultations with a lawyer on our team are always free so do not hesitate to contact us for the guidance you need. Call us at 201-309-0500 to speak to an attorney immediately.
Understanding Juvenile Offenses in Jersey City
When a child younger than 18 years of age engages in conduct that would be a violation of the New Jersey criminal laws, their charges are heard in the family court instead of adult criminal courts. Some of the most common behaviors that can end up in the juvenile court system include:
- Simple Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Terroristic Threats
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Possession of Drugs like Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, GHB, Xanax, Suboxone & LSD
- Criminal Mischief
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Selling, Distributing and Possession With Intent to Distribute CDS
- Weapon Charges
- Handgun Possession
- Credit Card Theft
- Sexual Assault
A judge presented with a waiver petition must conduct a hearing before ruling. The attorney representing your child will gather evidence to support retaining the case in the family court if doing so offers the best opportunity for rehabilitation. Juveniles whose cases are waived to a criminal court cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, nor are they subject to the death penalty. Because of the extensive criminal defense experience of each of our attorneys, your child is assured of continuity of representation regardless of which court ultimately hears the case.
Disposition of Juvenile Cases in Jersey City
Juvenile cases offer options to keep the child out of the juvenile court system through diversion programs. These programs offer a non-judicial method of reaching a resolution before the case enters the court system. Deferred disposition allows a family court judge to set conditions and give a child the chance to meet them before having to go to court on the juvenile delinquency offense. If the child satisfies the conditions over the course of the time period set by the judge, the case would be dismissed. Cases not handled through other methods end up in court in an adjudication hearing. If the allegations are proven by the prosecution, the case is referred to the disposition stage where the judge decides what the best course of action shall be to achieve rehabilitation of the child, including:
Release to parents
Mental health or substance abuse treatment and counseling
Academic or vocational programs
Confinement to a secure juvenile facility operated by the state
Jersey City Juvenile Defense Lawyer
The defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the knowledge of the juvenile court system and the experience of handling countless cases to know how to use the procedures and the law to fully protect a child’s rights. Don’t let a child’s mistake get out of hand. Call us now at 201-309-0500 where an attorney is available at any time of the day or night to speak with you during a free and confidential initial consultation.