What You Need to Know About Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey

If your child has recently been charged with a crime, you are most likely very worried about his or her future. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney today to learn more about how our firm can help you through the legal process ahead. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is a juvenile crime?

If your child is accused of committing a crime and he or she is under the age of 18, he or she will be considered a juvenile. Even if your child turns 18 while the case is pending, he or she will still be charged as a juvenile if the crime was allegedly committed before he or she turned 18. That being said, more serious crimes, such as rape or murder will most likely warrant an adult court trial. If your child has been charged with a juvenile crime, there is a very good chance you are looking at high fines, or even sometimes time behind bars. Generally speaking, most juvenile cases are heard by the Family Division of the Superior Court.

What is the juvenile crime process?

When a child is accused of committing a crime, his or her parents will receive notice from the family court regarding that child’s charges and the court procedure that is to follow. From here, a judge will determine whether your child’s crime warrants an adult trial (generally, it will not). If the case is relatively simple, it will most likely be referred to the Juvenile Conference Committee. This is a panel of citizen volunteers that is appointed by a Family Division judge. They are essentially in place of a jury. In other cases, your child’s case may be referred to a judicial referee, which is an attorney that takes the place of a judge.

Do I need an attorney for a juvenile case?

If your child is facing juvenile charges, you absolutely need an attorney. Not only is it in your child’s best interests to have an experineced attorney at his or her side, but it is also the law. In certain cases, your child may be awarded a public defender if you can prove that you cannot afford an attorney, though this is not always easy. If one parent is employed, the court will generally decline your request for a public defender.

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 in 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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