One set of criminal cases in New Jersey that do not go to criminal or municipal court are juvenile cases. Juvenile cases are cases that involve people or kids who are charged with a crime under the age of 18. It’s irrelevant how old they are at the time they appear in court; it has to do with when they are charged with that crime or when it took place related to their 18th birthday. Oftentimes the person contacting me is not the juvenile themselves but their mother, father or loved one who is concerned about the juvenile and the consequences of an arrest. Although charged and treated similarly as crimes, juvenile cases are heard in family court before a juvenile judge.
The consequences involve, at the high end, the potential for sentencing to the juvenile detention center down in Jamesburg, New Jersey. They also can involve consequences such as probation or what they call diversionary programs that ultimately, should the juvenile or child under 18 successfully stay out of trouble, results in a dismissal of the criminal charges. 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 such as schooling or loans for school or anything that would require a background check of the now juvenile defendant. It is important prior to appearing before a juvenile judge to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss yours 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. Without consultation with an experienced juvenile attorney, some of those may never be mentioned to you or your loved one.
Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding the merits, facts or circumstances of your case, call the law office, located in Hoboken, to set up a free initial consultation.