Any time an individual in New Jersey breaks the law, they will be subject to the consequences associated with the crime, if convicted. New Jersey considers any individual who is under the age of 18 years old a minor. Even though New Jersey doesn’t consider juvenile offenses “crimes,” offenders are still subject to punishment. One of the major ways that a juvenile offense is treated differently than an adult crime is because the matter is handled in New Jersey’s family division of the Supreme Court instead of in criminal court.
Another major difference between the two situations is that adults are permitted to represent themselves in criminal court but juveniles must retain legal services. The parent of the juvenile accused of committing an offense is held financially responsible for hiring an attorney for the minor. If the parent believes that they cannot afford the services of an attorney, they can request that the court appoints a public defender. However, the parent or guardian will have to prove that they are unable to afford an attorney.
If the juvenile commits a very serious offense, they may be tried as an adult. Serious offenses such as assault, murder, or rape are often upgraded to adult crimes.
If your child has been charged with an offense, contact our firm today.
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is essential to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your situation.