Juvenile Crimes Defense in New Jersey
When it comes to minors who have committed juvenile crimes in New Jersey, the court system can be very different than the system used for adults. For less severe crimes, the judge can recommend any of a variety of creative types of probation or other punishments that fit the crime. More serious offenses can carry strict probation or community service sentences. Punishments for juveniles may also include incarceration in a youth detention facility.
Juvenile Court System
All juvenile matters are held in a closed family court where only those involved and the youth’s parents or guardians are allowed to be present in the courtroom. The judge will then decide the further steps to take in order to discipline the minor properly. The state of New Jersey, however, typically focuses on rehabilitation and accountability in order to ensure the minor receives the proper correction and attention.
Types of Juvenile Cases
- Severe Crimes: In the case of a severe crime, the minor could be classified as delinquent. This means that the minor can be charged as an adult would in an adult criminal court.
- Juvenile delinquency cases: These are the most serious types of offenses for minors. If a minor is adjudicated delinquent, the consequences can be severe and may result in a permanent record without proper legal representation.
- Juvenile dependency cases: These cases involve minors who have been neglected or abused by a guardian. The judge would then decide whether or not they should be removed from their home environment.
- Status offense cases: These cases involve violations that only apply to minors. Some examples of this include underage drinking, breaking curfew, truancy, running away, etc.
Punishment for Juveniles in New Jersey
Depending on the severity of the act committed, a juvenile may be held in a detention center as punishment. For less serious crimes there are different non-incarceration options the court may take in order to teach the juvenile a lesson. Some of these alternate options are:
- Verbal warning
- Community Service
- Electronic monitoring