Juvenile criminal charges can be daunting for a child and their parents. If your child has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you need effective legal representation to defend their rights and interests. The seasoned juvenile criminal charges lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law understand how these charges can impact a child’s future. That is why we provide zealous representation to every client and work tirelessly to have juvenile criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
If your child is facing juvenile criminal charges, contact our experienced Monmouth County legal team today. We can fight for the best outcome in your child’s case no matter how serious the charges. Reach out to our office to get started with a free consultation.
What Kinds of Juvenile Crime Cases Do We Handle?
Our firm has extensive experience in handling various types of cases, including:
- Assault & Threat
- Federal Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Offenses
- DWI Charges
- Theft & Fraud
- Sex Crimes
- Traffic Violations
- Weapons Offenses
- Money Laundering
- White-Collar Crimes
Whether your child is dealing with minor offenses or facing more serious charges, our team of skilled juvenile criminal charges lawyers is here to help you and your family reach the most favorable outcome.
Is Bail an Option In New Jersey Juvenile Crime Cases?
Juveniles in custody are not entitled to bail in New Jersey because the law does not treat them as criminals but as delinquents. A juvenile in custody will have a detention hearing within 24 hours, at which point a judge will decide whether to release them. If the child is detained, the court will hold another hearing within 48 hours. At this hearing, the judge might decide the prosecution has not presented enough evidence and dismiss the case. However, a hearing will be scheduled if the judge thinks the juvenile likely committed the offense.
The judge could release or detain the child at this point. If the court keeps the child in detention, a review hearing will be held within 14 days, followed by monthly detention hearings until the court decides the case.
Understanding Sentencing for Juvenile Major Crimes in New Jersey
Juvenile sentencing in New Jersey can vary widely depending on the nature and severity of the crime. Aggravating factors such as using a weapon, the presence of a victim, or a history of criminal behavior can lead to harsher sentences. However, mitigating factors such as the child’s age, role in the crime, mental health status, or willingness to cooperate with authorities might convince the court to impose a lighter sentence.
Ways Juvenile Criminal Cases Are Handled
There are three ways juvenile cases are typically resolved:
Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) or Intake Services Conference (ISC) – This process is an informal discussion involving you, your child, and the person who filed the complaint. If all parties agree, your child might need to follow certain conditions like curfews, counseling, or community service. If your child meets these conditions, the court might dismiss the case. The judge must approve any agreements.
Juvenile Referees – Trained court staff conduct juvenile hearings and recommend to the judge whether your child is delinquent. They might also recommend things like curfews, counseling, or community service. They cannot recommend detention. The judge will review the case and decide whether to approve their recommendation.
Hearing Before a Judge – In an “informal” hearing before a judge, a lawyer does not need to be present. This is called “counsel non-mandatory.” A formal hearing is “counsel mandatory.” The judge will decide whether your child is delinquent in either case. If so, the judge can set conditions to aid in rehabilitation, including fines, community service, probation supervision, deferred (delayed) disposition, or confinement in a juvenile facility.
Juvenile Court Diversionary Programs in New Jersey
New Jersey has various diversionary programs to rehabilitate people facing certain criminal charges, including juveniles. These programs often involve a combination of supervision, medical/social services, and conditions set by the court. Participants who fulfill the program’s requirements may have the charges against them dismissed. If they do not complete the program, they may face prosecution. These programs might involve the following:
- Pretrial intervention (PTI)
- Drug court
- Conditional discharge
- Conditional dismissal
- Deferred disposition
- Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program (JISP)
How an Attorney Can Help in Your Child’s Criminal Case
An attorney practicing juvenile criminal law can help your family understand the charges your child is facing and their legal options. A lawyer can help your child’s case by:
- Providing effective representation – A lawyer can represent your child at all stages of the legal process, from the initial hearing to potential appeal proceedings. This representation includes speaking on behalf of your child in court and making strategic decisions about how to present the case.
- Offering sound advice – An attorney can help you and your child understand the charges, the legal process, and the potential outcomes of the case. They can explain the implications of different decisions, such as whether to participate in a diversionary program.
- Negotiating with the prosecutors – An attorney might be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges dismissed or reduced.
- Investigating the alleged crime – An attorney can help gather and analyze evidence relating to the case. This investigation might include interviewing witnesses, obtaining surveillance footage, or consulting with experts.
- Advocating for fair sentencing – If the judge adjudicates your child as delinquent, an attorney can advocate for a lenient sentence or diversionary program.
- Helping to appeal – If your child disagrees with the case’s outcome, an attorney can help them appeal the decision.
Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law Today
Juvenile criminal charges can be overwhelming for an individual and their family. If your child is dealing with criminal charges, you do not have to face this challenging time alone. The legal team at Keith Oliver Criminal Law is committed to defending the rights of juveniles in New Jersey and working diligently to secure the best possible outcomes. Contact us today for a free case review with a juvenile criminal defense attorney in Monmouth County.