A Juvenile in Custody and Detention

New Jersey Juvenile Defense Attorney - Anthony N. Palumbo

Union County-Monmouth County-Middlesex County-Essex County

Juveniles who have been arrested and charged with delinquency offenses face serious consequences, including sentences of incarceration in juvenile detention facilities and the possibility of being detained during the pendency of their trial. If your child is a defendant in a juvenile case, the most important thing you can do to avoid detention and incarceration is to have an experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense lawyer on your side.

I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a partner at the law office of Palumbo & Renaud and a juvenile criminal defense attorney with more than 35 years of legal experience. I understand the unique procedures used in New Jersey's juvenile court system and I know the best strategies to minimize the penalties in juvenile proceedings. To find out how I can help in your case and to schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact me today at 1-866-664-8118 or through the email form on my website.

Juvenile Custody and Detention

A minor charged with a delinquency offense can be taken into custody and held in a detention center pending the disposition of his or her case, but only if the juvenile is considered a danger to the community of if there is a risk that the juvenile will fail to appear in court. Juveniles who are 11 years old or younger may not be placed in detention unless charged with an offense that would be considered a first or second degree crime if committed by an adult, or if charged with arson.

When a juvenile is taken into custody, the parents/guardians must be notified immediately and a detention hearing must be held no later than the following morning in order to decide whether continued detention is proper. In making this determination, the court must take into account the nature and circumstances of the offense, the age of the juvenile, the juvenile's ties to the community, the juvenile's record of prior adjudications, and the juvenile's record of appearance or nonappearance at previous court proceedings. The court must also consider alternatives to custody, such as release to parents, release on the juvenile's promise to appear at the next hearing, release into the care of a custodian or appropriate public or private agency, release with the imposition of restraints on the juvenile's activities, associations, movements and residence, or release to a home detention program.

If the juvenile remains in custody, a second detention hearing must be held within two days of the initial hearing in order to determine probable cause. A detention review hearing must then be held within 14 days of the prior detention hearing, and if detention is continued, detention review hearings must then be held at intervals of no more than 21 days.

Juvenile Adjudication and Sentencing

If a formal proceeding is used instead of diversion, a petition is filed setting out the charges and a court date is set for the child's trial, which is called an adjudication. The judge then hears the case, determines the outcome, and sentences the juvenile. There is no right to a jury in juvenile adjudications, but juvenile defendants do have the right to be represented by legal counsel throughout the judicial process, and they must have an attorney during all formal proceedings.

If a juvenile pleads guilty or is adjudicated delinquent, the judge then determines the appropriate sentence, taking into account the minor's circumstances and the nature of the crime, as well as other aggravating and mitigating factors. In cases involving serious offenses, juveniles may be sentenced to a term of incarceration at a juvenile detention center. Judges have broad discretion in determining the most appropriate dispositions for juvenile offenders, however, and a variety of sentencing options may be deemed preferable to incarceration, including deferred disposition, probation, community service, fines or restitution, house arrest, sentencing to counseling or education programs, psychiatric commitment, or placement in alcohol or drug rehabilitation programs.

Having a Juvenile Defense Lawyer By Your Side

If your child has been arrested for a juvenile crime, such as disorderly conduct, assault, underage alcohol consumption, a marijuana crime or an offense involving other drugs, or sexual assault, having an attorney who is familiar with juvenile court procedures is extremely valuable.

If you need a juvenile court defense attorney in Union County, Monmouth County, or Middlesex County, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, through the email form on my website or at 1-866-664-8118 for a free and confidential consultation. I've been representing juvenile defendants for almost four decades, and as a longstanding member of the legal community, a former prosecutor, and a current criminal defense attorney, I can help get the best results possible in your case and limit the time your child spends in juvenile detention or prevent incarceration altogether.

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