Defending New Jersey clients in juvenile matters
A child may be arrested or detained in the state of New Jersey if they commit a crime. Like anybody, children are bound to make mistakes. When a child has made a mistake that constitutes an arrest or detainment, the parent or guardian must consider the range of penalties their child faces, including something as small as writing an essay to being tried as an adult. For the most part, New Jersey judges have discretion when handling juvenile offenses. It is important to retain the legal services of an experienced juvenile crime attorney in order to give the child the best chance of a positive conclusion. If you need an effective and passionate attorney to handle your legal matter, contact The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze, Esq. for an initial consultation.
What constitutes a juvenile crime?
If the party being charged with an offense is under the age of 18, that person is a “juvenile.” Even if the child turned 18 during the course of the proceedings, the person was a child when committing the crime and as such, will be tried as a juvenile, unless charged with a crime so egregious as to warrant being tried as an adult. In cases involving serious crimes like murder assault, and rape, courts may try a juvenile as an adult and include the possibility of jail time. Most juvenile cases are tried in the family division of the Superior Court. For the most part, these cases are sealed in the party’s juvenile file.
How does a juvenile case proceed?
In New Jersey, the parent or guardian of the child will receive a notice from the court stating the charges and any information necessary regarding the court and procedures. The superior court judge will decide if the case deserves a waiver up to an adult trial. The simpler cases are sent to the Juvenile Conference Committee, a panel of volunteers appointed by the family court judge to act on the judge’s behalf. Some courts will transfer the case to a judicial referee who is an attorney that will act with the same legal authority as the Superior Court judge.
A child must have representation
All juveniles must have representation that will zealously defend them in court. If a parent or guardian cannot afford representation, they must convince the court that they deserve support from a public defender. The state is strict. If either parent is currently employed, there is little chance that their circumstances will convince the court to provide a public defender.
Contact a Middlesex County law firm to defend your family
If your child is facing a juvenile crime matter, you need an experienced attorney to fight for your family. If those charges may lead to an adult trial, it is important to fight the court’s ruling and send the child back to a juvenile trial in Superior Court. The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze, Esq. in Woodbridge, NJ has over 25 years of experience handling criminal matters for adults and children. If you need a skilled attorney to assess your child’s case and effectively represent them in court, contact our firm today.