What is a Deferred Disposition in NJ?

Need to Obtain a Deferred Disposition in Monmouth County NJ

Emotions are always going to run wild when a juvenile is “taken into custody” and “charged as a delinquent.” If this occurs to a loved one, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Monmouth County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. New Jersey’s Juvenile Criminal Justice System differs drastically from the Adult Criminal Justice System. Just trying to determine what type of proceeding the juvenile will be required to partake in can be confusing. For example, depending on the charge, a juvenile could be called to appear before a Juvenile Conference Committee, Station House Adjustment, Juvenile Referee Hearing or a formal proceeding before a Juvenile Judge. Although the theme behind the juvenile criminal justice system is rehabilitation, if the crime is serious enough, it can quickly turn to deterrence. Depending on the specific charge that is levied against the juvenile as well as their previous criminal history, they could be eligible for what is known as a deferred disposition. A deferred disposition is a juvenile diversionary program that could allow for juveniles to walk away from the nightmare of being charged as a delinquent without serving a day in custody let alone a criminal conviction. A deferred disposition can be a tremendous outcome for a juvenile who is looking to put the incident behind themselves and be able to move on with their life and gain acceptance into their dream college. If a loved one has been taken into custody and charged as a delinquent in Monmouth County, in towns like Middletown, Holmdel, Wall Township, Long Branch, Manalapan, Aberdeen, Ocean Township, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck or elsewhere, Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Mr. Oliver, who handles all of our Monmouth County cases has a significant amount of experience defending juvenile clients charged with all manner of crimes. To schedule a free initial consultation today, please contact our office at 732-858-6959. Now here is some more information about deferred dispositions in New Jersey.

Understanding a Deferred Disposition and its Benefits in New Jersey

As touch upon above, a deferred disposition is a Juvenile diversionary program. It is similar to adult run diversionary programs like the Conditional Discharge, Conditional Dismissal and Pretrial Intervention Program. If the juvenile is afforded the opportunity to partake in this program they will be placed on a probationary period. If they juvenile is able to complete the probationary period without violating any of the terms imposed and they successful complete all the conditions imposed, they will be able to have the charges dismissed outright. That means that the juvenile will not be “adjudicated as a delinquent” and thus be scarred with a juvenile criminal record.

Who Can Get a Deferred Disposition in New Jersey?

Typically speaking, only a first-time juvenile offender will be afforded the opportunity to be placed into a deferred disposition. In addition, the juvenile has to be charged with a lower level offense. For example, crimes like possession of CDS, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault, harassmentcyber-harassmentshoplifting or terroristic threats. This does not mean that a juvenile has to be charged with a lower level offense but it would require the case to be downgraded to one of these lower level offenses.

Factors Used by the Judge to Determine if a Juvenile will be Granted a Deferred Disposition

When determining if a juvenile should be granted entry into the deferred disposition program in New Jersey, the judge is bound to balance the following factors found under N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43:

  1. The nature and circumstances of the offense;
  2. The degree of injury to persons or damage to property caused by the juvenile’s offense;
  3. The juvenile’s age, previous record, prior social service received, and out-of-home placement history;
  4. Whether the disposition supports family strength, responsibility and unity and the well-being and physical safety of the juvenile;
  5. Whether the disposition provides for reasonable participation by the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian, provided, however, that the failure of a parent or parents to cooperate in the disposition shall not be weighed against the juvenile in arriving at an appropriate disposition;
  6. Whether the disposition recognizes and treats the unique physical, psychological, and social characteristics and needs of the child;
  7. Whether the disposition contributes to the developmental needs of the child, including the academic and social needs of the child where the child has intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities;
  8. Any other circumstances related to the offense and the juvenile’s social history as deemed appropriate by the court;
  9. The impact of the offense on the victim or victims;
  10. The impact of the offense on the community; and
  11. The threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the child.

Do I have to Plead Guilty to Enter a Deferred Disposition in Monmouth County?

Yes, in order to enter into a deferred disposition in Juvenile Court in New Jersey the juvenile will be required to enter into a guilty plea. That guilty plea will be held in abeyance while the juvenile partakes in the program. If the juvenile completes the program without issue, the charges will be dismissed outright. However, if the juvenile fails to complete the program without violating the terms and is ultimately removed from the program, then the guilty plea would come into effect and the juvenile would be adjudicated as a delinquent. The juvenile would have to re-appear in Court and be re-sentenced on the charges.

What type of Conditions can a Juvenile Judge Impose on Deferred Disposition in NJ?

The specific conditions that can be imposed on a deferred disposition can really vary. The type of charge in question will certainly play a role in determining what the specific conditions will be. Here are some of the common conditions that we see being imposed on a deferred disposition in Monmouth County:

  • Anger Management
  • Drug Counseling
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Community Service
  • Random Drug Testing
  • Monthly Reporting to Probation Officer

Seek a Deferred Disposition with Help from a Dedicated Juvenile Attorney Serving Holmdel, Wall, Freehold, Belmar and other Monmouth County towns

Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a Monmouth County based criminal defense firm that has a tremendous amount of experienced defending juveniles charged as a delinquent. If your child or a loved one has been taken into custody and charged with a crime in Monmouth County, we strongly urge that you consult with an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible about your options. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today, please contact our office at 732-858-6959 or you can try contacting us online. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us. Being adjudicated as a delinquent can have a significant impact on the juvenile’s life.

Author: Keith G. Oliver

Founding partner Keith G. Oliver has a passion for helping people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He believes that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent, and that one mistake shouldn’t define a person forever. This passion drives Mr. Oliver to tirelessly fight for his clients and pursue the best possible outcome in every case.