Children make mistakes. Juvenile offenses are aptly named because children don’t always make mature decisions. Clients often ask the consequences for a juvenile charge. The consequences can range from writing an essay before the juvenile conference committee to being waived up and tried as an adult on the most serious cases, including weapons offenses. The court system, judicial referee, and juvenile conference committee have a lot of leeway to craft a remedy that benefits the child and avoids ongoing contact with the juvenile justice system for first-time offenders not charged with a serious crime. Even though a juvenile may turn 18 during the course of the juvenile proceeding, unless he or she has been waived up to be tried as an adult in the most serious cases, the matter will stay as juvenile and will stay sealed in the juvenile file. Sexual crimes imposing a Megan’s Law reporting requirement stay with the child’s juvenile record for 15 years, well into adulthood.
After an incident involving a juvenile, it may take some time for you to get a notice from the Superior Court. Juvenile offenses go to the Superior Court and they’re evaluated. There are a number of different ways that these cases can be handled. If they’re not severe, they can be referred to the Juvenile Conference Committee. If they are more serious, they can be maintained in the Superior Court Family Division. In some New Jersey counties, they can be referred to a judicial referee, who is an attorney that sits in the position of a judge.
Talk to an attorney as soon as you get a notice for an attorney conference from the Superior Court. A lot of people wonder why they have to hire a private counsel. New Jersey laws require representation for all juveniles. Parents can make an application for a public defender, but the guidelines are very strict. If either or both parents are employed, the parents will most likely not qualify for the services of the public defender.
Juvenile matters have to proceed very, very quickly. It’s imperative that you have counsel in place for that very first hearing so that your attorney can go to court, confer with the prosecutor, get the state’s evidence, and properly evaluate the case for a proposed resolution. Speak with an attorney at Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. to receive the best representation possible for your child. Our accomplished attorneys know New Jersey juvenile laws and will be able to assist you through this ordeal. With our tenacity and compassion, we will achieve the best outcome possible. Call us for a consultation.