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Woodbridge NJ Juvenile Criminal Charge
Middlesex County Juvenile Defense Attorneys
Woodbridge Township ranked 6th in New Jersey in terms of municipal population in the 2010 census and a significant portion of these resides are juveniles under the age of eigthteen (18). There are, in fact, so many children located in the town’s school district that it maintains three high schools, Colonia High School, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School and Woodbridge High School. With such a significant number of minors, Woodbridge has its share of juvenile disorderly persons offenses including possession of marijuana, harassment, and simple assault, to name a few. More serious indictable criminal charges like aggravated assault, distribution of drugs, burglery and robbery also crop up. If your child has been charged with any variety of juvenile offense or a Woodbridge DWI offense, we can assist you. Our criminal defense team includes several lawyers who are former county prosecutors. We have been defending criminal charges filed against juneviles for several decades and are ready to assist you. An attorney experienced in juvenile defense is available immediately at 732-634-0700 for a free initial consultation or to set up an appointment in person at our Woodbridge Office.
Mandatory Assigment of Counsel Hearings
In accordance with New Jersey Law, a juvenile must be represented by an attorney in all proceedings before the Superior Court, Family Division. As a result, the initial notice a parent received if their child is arrested and/or charged in Woodbridge, is a notice from the Superior Court scheduling the case for a mandatory assignment of counsel hearing. At that hearing, private counsel must be present and/or identified by the parent of the defendant or a public defender must be appointment (assuming income is limited enough to qualify).
Pre-Hearing Release or Detention
As a general rule, if a juvenile is arrested in Woodbridge, they will not be held in custody and sent to a detention facility. This rule does not apply where: (1) detention is necessary to insure presence at the juvenile proceedings because there is recent evidence demonstrating a willful failure to appear at court proceedings; (2) the safety of persons or property would be seriously threatened if the juvenile were released and he or she is charged with a first degree, second degree or third degree crime, or fourt degree aggravated assault, stalking, criminal sexual contact, bias intimidation, failure to control, possession of a prohibited weapon, or unlawful possession of a weapon; or (3) where temporary placement is necessary because of unavailability of a parent or guardian to take custody.
Diversion of Criminal Charges
In adult court, two diversion programs are available. Conditional discharge allows an individual to avoid a disorderly persons conviction by having the charge conditionally dismissed provided the defendant has no prior conviction. A similar first time offender program is available for indictable offenses and it is termed pretrial intervention. The diversion available in the juvenile division is classically referred to as deferred disposition or deferral. What happens under the process is that the charge is dismissed pending the completion of a probationary period by the juvenile.
Woodbridge Law Office Skilled in Defending Children
In many juvenile cases, the parent’s first encounter with a criminal attorney is in conjunction with the charge being faced by their child. In this regard, there is no doubt that experience and qualifications should be a primary criteria, if not the sole criteria, for selecting an attorney to represent your child. With this in mind, we encourage you to review the credentials of our firm as we believe we are well suited to defend your juvenile. A lawyer is available now to assist you at 732-632-0700.