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What happens when my child is tried as a juvenile?

As children grow and learn over the years, they are bound to make mistakes. As parents, it can be hard to watch children with bad behavior. When children are experiencing particularly bad behavior, they may get themselves into legal trouble. Children are still able to be tried as juveniles in court. This can lead to penalties and consequences as with any other court case. These cases may include serious consequences for the juvenile that could ruin their future. As a parent, it is important to get your child the help that they need.
Juveniles are classified as those under the age of 18. If a child turns 18 years old while undergoing court proceedings, they may still be tried as a juvenile since that was when the crime was committed. Juvenile offenses are usually not as serious or harmful as offenses that could cause them to be tried as an adult. However, it is still important to take them seriously to prevent harsh penalties and diverge from more bad behavior.

How do juvenile cases proceed?

When juveniles are charged with a crime, they will usually have their cases heard in the Family Division of the Superior Court. These cases become sealed in the party’s juvenile file. However, there are some exceptions. If a juvenile’s charge escalates them to be tried as an adult, the process will be different. Crimes involving murder, assault and rape may result in a juvenile being charged as an adult in court.
If your child is charged with a juvenile crime, you will be informed of the charges and the process that is expected. Any primary caretaker is informed of the situation regarding the juvenile. If the crime calls for an adult charge, the child could be pushed up to criminal court. Other cases that only include a juvenile charge can be sent to the Juvenile Conference Committee. Some courts may even transfer the case to a judicial referee. This figure is an attorney that is given the same legal authority as the Superior Court judge.
With juvenile cases, children must have representation. Although adults have the option to waive their right for counsel, guardians of the children are obligated to provide an attorney for a juvenile. If one cannot be afforded, then a public defender can be requested. However, if the court believes a guardian can afford an attorney, they have the ability to deny your request for a public defender.
Our firm understands how serious criminal and personal injury cases are. We are prepared to guide you towards a favorable outcome. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New Jersey, please contact The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze today for any criminal and personal injury matters.

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