Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers in Somerset County NJ
When a loved one has been arrested it can be nerve wracking but when that loved one is a your child, it can be downright terrifying. Although the underlying “laws” are the same, the juvenile criminal justice system is run completely different from the adult criminal justice system. That is why it is crucial that if you have been charged as juvenile, that you speak to not only an experienced criminal defense lawyer but an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer. The difference between the two systems are significant. It is well settled in New Jersey that the main goal of the juvenile criminal justice system is rehabilitation. However, that is totally dependent upon not only the underlying charges but the juvenile’s criminal record. If the charges are serious enough and/or if the juvenile is a repeat offender, then the goal of the justice system will shift towards a more punitive outlook.
If you or your child has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense like simple assault, shoplifting, theft, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, distribution of marijuana, burglary or trespassing, the juvenile defense lawyers at Proetta & Oliver can help. At Proetta & Oliver our criminal defense attorneys have been defending juveniles in courts throughout New Jersey, including the Somerset and Hunterdon County Juvenile Courts. If you would like to come into our office for a free face to face consultation then please contact our office at (908)533-1064. We defend juveniles charged with criminal offenses in towns like Flemington, Somerville, Somerset, Clinton, Raritan, Readington, Bound Brook, Bridgewater, South Bound Brook, North Plainfield, Watchung, Bedminster and elsewhere throughout the counties. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer in Hunterdon County NJ
As touched upon above, the juvenile criminal justice system is run completely different than the adult criminal justice system. That is why it is strongly recommended that you speak to an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible about your options. Although the goal of the system is geared more towards what is in the best interest of the child, the goal can quickly change if the charges are serious enough. For example, if the juvenile is accused of a serious crime like heroin distribution, unlawful possession of a weapon, burglary, carjacking, robbery, aggravated assault or homicide, there is a good chance that the juvenile could be “waived up”. If a juvenile is “waived up” that means the prosecutor’s office is seeking to prosecute the juvenile as an adult as opposed to as a juvenile. That could turn out to be absolutely devastating. Just to put that into perspective, a juvenile charged with a first degree felony would be facing up to four years in Jamesburg (juvenile jail). If that juvenile was charged as an adult on that same first degree felony they would be facing up to twenty (20) years in a state prison. In order for a waiver to occur, a hearing must first take place. This is why we strongly recommend that if you or a loved one is facing juvenile charges, that you speak to an experienced Somerset County juvenile criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your options. Here is a chart that breaks down just a few of the major difference.
|Juvenile Criminal Justice System|
Adult Criminal Justice System
|Where do I appear?||The Family Division of the Superior Court of the County where the juvenile reside, regardless of where the incident happened and the degree of the underlying offense.||All felony offenses will be heard in Criminal Division of the Superior Court in the county where the incident occurred. All disorderly persons offenses will be heard in the local municipal court where the incident occurred.|
|Trials?||Bench Trial||Jury and/or Bench Trial|
|Goals||Rehabilitative / Best Interest of the Child||Punitive|
|Jail Time||Disorderly Persons: 6 Months|
4th Degree Felony: 1 Year
3rd Degree Felony: 2 Years
2nd Degree Felony: 3 Years
1st Degree Felony: 4 Years
Disorderly Persons: 6 Months
4th Degree Felony: 18 Months
3rd Degree Felony: 5 Years
2nd Degree Felony: 10 Years
1st Degree Felony: 20 Years
|Do I need an Attorney?||Mandatory||Optional|
Most Frequent Juvenile Crimes We Defend
At Proetta & Oliver we have defend juveniles charged with crimes ranging from carjacking and armed robbery to simple assault and possession of marijuana under 50 grams. Our criminal defense attorneys are well versed in the juvenile criminal justice system in New Jersey. Here is some of the most common criminal charges that we defend juveniles on:
- Marijuana Possession;
- Criminal Mischief;
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon;
- Drug Charges
Bridgewater Juvenile Criminal Lawyers
If you have or a loved one is forced to appear in the Family Division of the Somerset or Hunterdon County Superior Court and answer criminal charges, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. As you can see, there are some rather crucial difference between the adult criminal justice system and the juvenile criminal justice system. That is why it is strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced New Jersey juvenile criminal defense lawyer about your options. We defend juveniles charged with crimes in towns like West Amwell, Manville, Hillsborough, Far Hills, Bedminster, Bernards, Watchung, Bridgewater, Clinton, Flemington and Lambertville. To schedule a free consultation today, please contact us at (908)533-1064.