Juvenile justice in New Jersey
In the State of New Jersey, Juvenile cases are those involving offenders under the age of 18 years old. Juvenile cases are heard in the Family Court unless in serious matters the Prosecutor asks the Court to waive the case up to adult criminal court. Juvenile court is designed to rehabilitate youthful offenders. The judge may decide to divert the case by sending it to a Juvenile Conference Committee or take other steps to resolve the case through restitution, community service, job placement or other rehabilitative services. The Prosecutor may also recommend a Deferred Disposition of the case, where the case is held open for a period of time during which the above rehabilitative services are to be completed. If there are no further arrests of the juvenile and the rehabilitative services are completed to the satisfaction of the court, the case can be dismissed.
If your child is charged with a juvenile offense, it is important to work with an attorney and not allow your child to be interviewed or questioned by the police unless an attorney is present. My office handles Juvenile cases in Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset Counties and covers such offenses as: theft, shoplifting, vandalism, underage drinking and underage DUI/DWI, traffic offenses, drug cases, assault, truancy and disorderly conduct charges.