Juvenile Crime Attorney

Defending children from the consequences of their mistakes

In New Jersey, Juvenile cases do not go to criminal or municipal court. Juvenile cases involve people under the age of 18 convicted of a crime. It’s irrelevant how old they are at the time they appear in court. The defendant is considered a juvenile if the crime was committed under the age of 18. Juvenile cases are heard in family court before a juvenile judge.

Consequences of a juvenile crime

The consequences range from probation to a juvenile detention center sentence, depending on the severity of the crime and the criminal history of the child. Probation, or diversionary programs ultimately result in a dismissal of the criminal charges if the requirements are fulfilled by the juvenile. Despite the fact that these juvenile cases take place in family court, they are no less important than a criminal charge for someone over the age of 18. Having a juvenile record can affect things for any child’s future. A juvenile charge can impact where a child can apply to college, the loans for school, or anything that would require a background check.

When juveniles are tried as adults  

If your child is over the age of 16 and charged with murder, some cases of drug distribution, armed robbery, or other crimes of that nature, it is at the discretion of the prosecutor’s office and the juvenile judge whether your child’s case is heard in family court or if your child’s case is heard as an adult. Prior to the case going to adult court, there is a waiver hearing. There are various ways that an experienced criminal attorney can contest that waiver even for a juvenile that presumptively or should be waived to adult court.

Juveniles need an attorney when on trial

It may take some time for you to get a notice from the Superior Court after an incident involving a juvenile. The Superior Court evaluates juvenile charges. If the charges aren’t severe, they can be referred to the Juvenile Conference Committee. They may be maintained in the Superior Court Family Division if they are more serious. In some cases and particular counties, a juvenile case may be referred to a judicial referee, who is an attorney that sits in the position of a judge.

Juvenile cases require an attorney to represent every child involved in a hearing before a judge. Parents may apply for a public defender, but the guidelines are strict. The parents will most likely not qualify for the services of a public defender if either or both are employed.

Contact an experienced juvenile attorney

Prior to appearing before a juvenile judge, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your or your loved one’s juvenile case. There are a number of outcomes in these particular cases that are very favorable to the juvenile and his or her family. Contact an attorney at Keith Hirschorn, P.C. for a consultation. We are compassionate professionals who understand that children make mistakes. Our attorneys are here to help families resolve these situations and come to a positive conclusion.