Can Teens Avoid Jail Time in New Jersey?
Everyone makes mistakes, especially while they’re still young. Should a teen’s life be ruined just because they committed a crime? These young adults often act impulsively, and some research has shown that teens have an enhanced capacity for fear and anxiety, coupled with an undeveloped capability for calm reasoning. With these facts in mind, it should come as no surprise that teens are more likely to act in irresponsible, reckless ways. On the other hand, teens must understand that there are consequences for their actions. If we simply allow them to continue committing crimes, they will never improve and become valued members of society.
If your teen is facing criminal charges, it’s important to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The right legal expert can ensure that your child receives fair treatment in the eyes of the law. The prison system can permanently scar a minor on a psychological level, and it makes sense to search for alternatives wherever possible. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney is one of the best ways to strive for these alternatives.
What Happens After a Child is Arrested in New Jersey?
After a child is arrested, the police will decide whether to send them to juvenile hall, a state program, or back to their parents. In almost all cases, minors are initially released back into the custody of their parents, although it largely depends on whether or not the juvenile has a history of prior convictions.
The Juvenile Justice System
The Juvenile Justice System handles the trials and sentencing of minors in New Jersey. In New Jersey, this system does not give juveniles criminal convictions. Instead, minors face a “juvenile adjudication of delinquency.” In addition, minors face a bench trial, and their cases are not decided by a jury. If a judge finds that the minor is a delinquent, then a rehabilitation plan will be developed. In certain situations, the minor might be sent to a youth correctional facility.
Can a Juvenile be Tried as an Adult?
Minors can be tried as adults under certain circumstances. When crimes are especially egregious, the court may determine that the minor should face the full extent of the law. The crimes may include things like:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated arson
- Possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes
With all that said, New Jersey has enacted a law that makes it impossible to try minors as adults if they are 15 years old or younger.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you want to ensure that your child receives fair treatment in court, you need to consult with a qualified, experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Reach out to Phillip J. Murphy and you can approach this situation in a confident, efficient manner. Your child has a strong chance of receiving a reduced sentence or other preferable alternatives to prison with the right approach.