Contact Our Jersey City Law Firm To Speak To One Of Our Accomplished Criminal Attorneys Including a Former Prosecutor Who Was The Director of the Juvenile Unit
Recognizing that children who commit criminal acts should not be subjected to the same treatment as adult offenders, the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission was formed. Criminal offenses involving children less than 18 years of age are handled in the Family Part of the Hudson County Superior Court. Rehabilitation is the primary focus when it comes to prosecution of a juvenile charged with a criminal offense in Kearny or anywhere else state although a child can be detained or even placed in a residential facility if the facts are severe. Don’t let a mistake in judgment or a false accusation arising in Kearny or anywhere else ruin your child’s future. Your biggest weapon to accomplish this goal is a defense lawyer who is well versed in the law and procedures unique to juvenile court and you have found exactly that by landing on this page.
We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, a team of criminal lawyers with rare credentials to ensure that your son or daughter is fully protected. We can offer you:
- Over 200 years of combined experience handling juvenile charges
- Former prosecutors that include a Director of the Juvenile Unit, Drug Task Force, Major Crimes and an entire Trial Division
- 10 lawyers who handle nothing but criminal defense
- Certified criminal trial attorneys
We know you have questions and concerns about the accusations against your child, so call us now at (201) 309- 0500 where one of our accomplished Hudson County juvenile attorneys is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to speak with you and address your concerns about your child’s case during a free initial consultation.
Understanding Juvenile Offenses in Kearny
Juvenile delinquency involves a violation of the law committed by someone younger than 18 years of age. Examples of some of the types of violations that would subject a child to New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice and require an appearance in family court instead of adult criminal courts include:
Fighting, simple assault, aggravated assault, harassment and terroristic threats
Underage alcohol possession and drinking
Possession of marijuana, Xanax, ecstasy and other drugs
Distribution of heroin, fentanyl, LSD and other CDS
Computer crimes such as cyber harassment and bullying
Vandalism and criminal mischief
Sex offenses such as sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child
Theft charges like burglary, robbery, shoplifting and credit card theft
Some of the procedures in Hudson County Family Division (Juvenile Part) have a similar counterpart in adult criminal court proceedings. A child accused of juvenile delinquency has the right to an adjudication hearing, which is similar to a trial in criminal court. As in criminal court cases, the prosecution in juvenile delinquency proceedings has the burden of gathering and presenting evidence at an adjudication hearing to prove the accusations, but unlike adult criminal cases, children in family court do not have the right to have their cases heard by a jury. It is important to have an attorney representing your child who has a thorough understanding of how juvenile delinquency proceedings work particularly if your child is at least 15 years of age.
The law permits the prosecution to petition to have the cases of children accused of committing violent criminal offenses waived or transferred to an adult criminal court. Typical offenses subject to waiver petitions by the prosecution include murder, aggravated sexual assault, robbery of the first degree, aggravated arson and kidnapping. There must be a hearing in family court at which the prosecution must present evidence establishing probable cause to believe the child committed the offense warranting transfer to adult criminal court. We challenge the waiver petition by attacking the prosecution evidence and offering evidence proving the existence of factors supporting retention of the case in family court, including the following:
Age and maturity of the child
Extent of the child’s culpability
Mental health issues of the child, including emotional instability
Substance abuse contributing to the child’s conduct
Disposition of Juvenile Cases in Kearny
Juvenile matters that remain in family court may proceed through the formal process of an adjudication hearing followed by disposition if the prosecution evidence proves the child committed the criminal offenses. Among the options offered for resolution of a juvenile delinquency case is the process of diversion. Deferred disposition lets a child show the court that he or she can meet conditions pertaining to behavior, including attending counseling as required. Instead of a formal disposition, the judge sets the conditions and monitors the child’s progress in meeting them. Children who successfully complete the conditions of a deferred disposition have their cases dismissed. In addition to deferred disposition, other options available to a family court judge include:
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
Kearny Juvenile Defense Lawyer
The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall combine exceptional advocacy skills with compassion and understanding when working with children accused of juvenile offenses and their parents. Call our Jersey City Office now at (201) 309-0500 where an attorney is available throughout the day and night to speak with you during a free and confidential initial consultation.