One of the best parts of childhood is the sense of having one's whole life ahead and the freedom of being young. But when a teenager or child is charged with a criminal or municipal offense like theft, marijuana or other drug possession, graffiti or making threats, that freedom and future may be threatened.
I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a partner at the law firm of Palumbo & Renaud and a juvenile defense attorney with more than 35 years of legal experience. I understand the unique procedures used in New Jersey's juvenile court system and the best strategies to keep a young person's life on track. Contact me to schedule a free initial consultation.
Guiding Families Through the Juvenile Process
In New Jersey, any action that could be charged as a criminal offense can also be charged as a juvenile delinquency offense if the alleged offender is under 18. Municipal offenses, other than traffic offenses, can also be charged in juvenile court. Common juvenile offenses include:
- Underage drinking
- Juvenile DUi and traffic charges
- Juvenile drug crimes
- Internet crimes
- Disorderly conduct
- Sexual offenses
The purpose of the juvenile court is to give young people a second chance by placing the emphasis on rehabilitation rather than punishment. That does not mean, however, that the penalties for juvenile offenses are never harsh. They may include time in a juvenile detention facility, and a conviction can affect a child's prospects for scholarships, employment and other opportunities. Strategies such as sealing juvenile records can make a tremendous difference in a child's future.
Charged as an Adult?
If a juvenile is accused of a major offense such as homicide or rape, he or she may be charged as an adult in the regular county criminal court, which does not provide the same opportunities for rehabilitation as juvenile court. I have experience getting cases transferred to juvenile court to best protect a young person's freedom and minimize the impact of a criminal prosecution on their future.
Juvenile courts operate under different rules from regular criminal and municipal courts. If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense, you need an experienced lawyer on your family's side. Contact me now to set up a free consultation.