Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey | What to Know

School is almost over, and kids will have a lot more free time in the summer. This usually means an increase in juvenile crimes. In New Jersey, a juvenile crime is a crime committed by an individual under the age of 18. Read on to learn more about juvenile crimes in New Jersey.

Common Juvenile Crimes

The most common crimes committed by those under 18 include:

  • Shoplifting/Larceny
  • Simple Assault
  • Drug Abuse Violations
  • Underage Drinking
  • Vandalism

What are Juvenile Proceedings?

It is important to understand that when it comes to juvenile crimes, the goal is rehabilitation and getting the child the help they need. Depending on the crime, you may face the following:

  • Juvenile Conference Committee or Intake Services Conference: The juvenile and their parents talk about the case with a trained citizen volunteer panel or a Judiciary staff person. This process is informal and does not determine delinquency. Recommendations will be made to a judge regarding consequences for approval. 
  • Juvenile referee/Informal court: A hearing takes place where the juvenile is expected to admit or deny the crime. The facts of the case will be reviewed to determine delinquency so that recommendations can be made to the judge. 
  • Judge/Formal court: A judge oversees a court hearing where the juvenile will plead guilty or not guilty, and the court can order a consequence for rehabilitation.

It is important to know that if a juvenile commits a serious crime, such as rape, homicide, armed robbery, they may be treated as an adult in the eyes of the law, even if they are under 18.

What Consequences Can a Juvenile Face?

If found guilty, a juvenile can face a variety of consequences for their actions. This can include the following:

  • Community service
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Release to a parent or guardian
  • Required support services or parental involvement
  • Residential mental health and/or substance abuse and alcohol treatment
  • Restitution
  • Transfer of custody
  • Secure confinement/incarceration
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • Work, outdoor, academic, and/or vocational programs

If you or a loved one is facing charges for juvenile crimes, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. A decision you make as a child should not affect you for the rest of your life.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Thomas DeMarco & Associates, LLC is an experienced Camden County criminal defense law firm located in Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey. We understand how potentially damaging a criminal can be, which is why we pride ourselves on our willingness to fight for our client’s rights. Our firm handles all criminal matters and is ready to provide you with our knowledgeable legal counsel. Do not hesitate to contact our firm to discuss your legal situation.

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