My Child is Facing a Drug Charge in Freehold, New Jersey
Has your child been arrested and charged with a drug crime in Monmouth County? If so, it is imperative that you understand your options. New Jersey as a whole takes drug offenses very seriously and when the individual accused of the drug crime is a juvenile the spotlight becomes brighter. All juveniles charged with a drug offense, regardless of whether it is for the possession of a controlled dangerous substance or possession of CDS with the intent to distribute will be summonsed to appear in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the County where the juvenile resides. So, for example, if a juvenile is charged with the possession of cocaine in New Brunswick but they reside in Middletown, their case will be heard the Family Division of the Monmouth County Superior Court. Their case will be prosecuted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Although the overall goal of the Juvenile Criminal Justice system is to help rehabilitate the juvenile, that goal can quickly change if the allegations are serious enough or if there is a past history with the juvenile. If your child has unfortunately found themselves being summonsed to appear in Court to answer for a drug charge, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our team handles all types of Juvenile criminal matters, including drug offenses that occur within Monmouth County. For a free initial consultation today, please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959. Here is some more information on how drug charges tend to be handled in Juvenile Court.
Common Juvenile Drug Charges Issued in Monmouth County
Juvenile Drug Possession Charge in Freehold NJ
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) is one of the more frequently charges offenses for a juvenile in Monmouth County. Regardless of the drug in question, the juvenile will be charged with a violation under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). A violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) will more likely than not be classified as a third degree indictable (felony) offense. This will be the case regardless of the quantity. Some of more commonly charged drug offenses that we see juvenile’s being charged with in Monmouth County include: Oxycontin, Adderall, Cocaine, MDMA, Xanax and Heroin.
Juvenile Drug Distribution Cases in Monmouth County
The Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute and the Distribution of CDS is also a common offense that we seeing being issued to juveniles in Monmouth County. Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute charges will typically be based on the fact that the juvenile was apprehended with either a specific quantity of CDS or the way it was packaged or a combination of both. Whereby comparison, a Distribution of CDS charge will be based on the premise that the juvenile was caught in the act of distributing the CDS to another individual. Regardless of the basis, both will be charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. As one would imagine, these types of allegations are taken more seriously than a possession of CDS charge. Depending on the quantity of the CDS, the juvenile could either be charged with a first, second or third degree indictable offense.
What to Know about Juvenile Drug Charges in New Jersey
What Type of Hearing would a Juvenile get for a Drug Charge in NJ?
Since most drug crimes are classified as either a first, second or third degree indictable offense, a juvenile charged with a drug offense will be forced to litigate their case in the most serious setting; in front of a Juvenile Judge. This is the most formal setting for a juvenile matter. Other less serious charges, like juvenile assault, juvenile harassment or juvenile shoplifting case could possibly be litigated in less serious forums like a Juvenile Referee Hearing or a Juvenile Conference Committee Hearing.
What Court has Jurisdiction over a Juvenile Drug Charge in Monmouth County?
Also, as touched upon earlier, all juvenile cases will be transferred from the local municipality to the Family Division of the Superior Court in the County where the Juvenile resides. That is the case regardless of the degree of the offense. However, if the case involves co-defendants and the co-defendant’s live in different counties then the county where the incident happened will have original jurisdiction over the matter.
Can the Prosecution Keep My Child Detained on Drug Case in NJ?
In addition, due to the severity of the charges, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office could force the Juvenile to go through a bail hearing. For more information on juvenile bail hearings, please click the link. In addition, they could also seek to have the Juvenile’s case waived up to the Adult Criminal Division and have the juvenile prosecuted as an adult. However, before this can occur, a formal hearing must be conducted and the decision to waive the juvenile up will ultimately be made by the Judge.
Common Penalties Associated with a Juvenile Drug Conviction in NJ
Although the Juvenile Criminal Justice System is geared towards rehabilitation, the potential penalties a juvenile faces for a drug conviction can still be devastating. Some of the potential penalties include: Probation, Juvenile Detention Center, Court Mandated Treatment, Community Service and License Suspension. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the charges, the Juvenile might be eligible for what is known as a differed disposition, which is a diversionary program in New Jersey. If the Juvenile is granted a differed disposition and they complete the probationary term without violating any of the conditions imposed, the charges will be dismissed outright. For more information on a differed disposition in Monmouth County, please click the link.
Need to Speak to a Juvenile Drug Possession Defense Lawyer in New Jersey
Keith Oliver Criminal Law has extensive experience representing juvenile’s in Courts throughout New Jersey, including in Monmouth County. Our attorneys are dedicated to aggressively defend the charges in order to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. We fully understand what is on the line when we are defending juveniles. If your loved one has unfortunately found themselves in charged as a juvenile delinquent with a drug offense in Monmouth County, we can help. To schedule a free initial consultation today, please contact us at 732.858.6959. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Holmdel, Red Bank, Hazlet, Wall Township, Aberdeen, Howell, Atlantic Highlands, Middletown, Ocean Township and Asbury Park.