Will my child be charged as an adult?

Under New Jersey law, a child age 15 or older may be tried as an adult under certain circumstances. The state can seek a waiver to transfer a juvenile case to the adult criminal courts. This usually occurs only in serious or violent crimes, such as homicide, first-degree robbery, carjacking, sexual assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping, possession of firearms for unlawful purposes, or drug trafficking or production.

Courts must consider various factors in deciding to waive a juvenile to adult criminal court, including:

  • The nature of their offense
  • The juvenile’s age
  • Degree of culpability
  • Maturity
  • Mental capacity
  • History of delinquency
  • The juvenile’s prior and potential response to rehabilitation
  • The potential danger the juvenile poses to the public