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South River NJ Juvenile Attorney
Juvenile Criminal Offense for Burglary, Drug Possession, Distribution of CDS, Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threats or Another Charge in South River New Jersey
Former Middlesex County Prosecutors Who Are Ready To Defend Your Juvenile Case
Not too long ago, five juveniles were arrested and charged with robbery, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and other criminal offenses stemming from a South River New Jersey related incident involving stealing sneakers at gunpoint. While this example serves as an extreme of a juvenile offense, it illustrates just how far things can go when a South River child has a lapse in judgment or gets involved with some bad apples. The key, whether your son or daughter is facing a charge for burglary, aggravated assault, CDS distribution (e.g. prescription drugs, marijuana, etc.), possession of drugs (e.g. Xanax, cocaine, Ecstasy, etc.), terroristic threats or another offense, is to make sure they have representation from an attorney who can ensure that a juvenile offense does not become life altering.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have particular expertise in representing juveniles at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick. This is the place where every South River criminal offense involving someone under 18 years of age is decided. We are former county and municipal prosecutors with over 100 years of collective experience defending children charged with juvenile crime in Middlesex County, including the Borough of South River. Our lawyers have the ability to help your child avoid the consequences any juvenile charge are available for free consultations 24/7. Contact our East Brunswick Office now at 732-227-1200 to speak to a juvenile lawyer with the know how you need.
Helping You and Your Child Navigate the Juvenile Justice System
If your child is facing criminal charges, the case will be directed to juvenile intake of the Family Division of the Middlesex County Superior Court. As previously stated, this court system is located in New Brunswick as opposed to locally, for example, in South River. The following are the basics of your South River juvenile offense.
• Family Court vs. Criminal Court. The first important aspect to a juvenile case is that the court handling a juvenile matter is not a criminal court. The court is the Family Division of the Superior Court. There is no right to a jury trial in the Juvenile Part of the Family Division — a judge makes all decisions of law and fact.
• Attorney must represent the child. Every child facing a South River juvenile delinquency charge must be represented by an attorney. Accordingly, you must retain an attorney for your child if he/she has been charged with a criminal offense. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can inform the court, and the judge will appoint a public defender provided you income is inadequate to fund private counsel.
• “Delinquency” vs. Crime. Even though a juvenile may commit a criminal offense, the Family court does not call it that. Instead, any offense committed by a juvenile means that the juvenile has been “delinquent.” The difference in terminology is a way to acknowledge that young people are better able to be turned around (i.e., rehabilitated), and we therefore don’t consider them “criminals.”
• “Waiving up” to Adult Court. While we as a society view juvenile offenders differently than adult criminals, there are some crimes so serious that when committed by a juvenile may lead to a trial in adult criminal court. Thus, in some circumstances, a prosecutor may ask the court to try a juvenile as an adult, or “waive him up to adult court” because of the seriousness of the offense. The penalties in adult court are far more severe. Your attorney should zealously challenge any attempt to waive a juvenile up into adult court.
• Police questioning of your child. You should be aware that police officers should not question a juvenile unless a parent or guardian is present. Only in rare circumstances can a police officer question an unsupervised juvenile in connection with a juvenile delinquency matter.
• Detention of a child. There is no right to bail in the juvenile court system. So, when a juvenile is charged in a delinquency action, the decision must be made whether to release the child to his or her parents or to place the child in a juvenile detention center. This decision is based on how serious the offense is, if there is a history of the juvenile failing to appear in court, and if any person would be put in danger by releasing the juvenile. Having an attorney on your side at the time that decision is made would be most advantageous to keep your child out of juvenile detention.
• Possibility of diversionary programs. There are a number of ways in which your attorney could attempt to have your child’s case diverted for resolution away from the courts. For example, an attorney could intervene and offer alternatives (provide restitution, apologize, etc.) at the police station when the police are deciding whether and how to charge a child with a juvenile offense. In addition, a Juvenile Conference Committee, made of up members of the community, could be called on to resolve a matter, rather than have it go before a judge.
- Penalties for Juvenile Offenses in Middlesex County. While the penalty for a juvenile offense could be serious, a juvenile cannot be detained in a detention center after his or her 18th birthday. Typically, a judge can sentence a juvenile to detention for one year on a fourth-degree crime, two years on a third-degree crime, three years on a second-degree crime, and four years on a first-degree crime.
South River Juvenile Lawyer
When a minor gets pulled into criminal activity and the juvenile justice system, selecting a defense lawyer who is highly skilled in defending juvenile charges in New Brunswick can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. An attorney who is equipped to thoroughly defend your South River juvenile offense is going to provide you with the greatest opportunity to avoid life changing consequences. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the ability to competently serve you in this capacity so that this criminal charge does not alter your future. Call us at 732-227-1200 to speak to one of our attorneys immediately.