Juvenile Court Proceedings

New Jersey Juvenile Court Proceedings Attorney

New Jersey Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Getting in trouble with the law is a scary ordeal, and is even more traumatic when it happens to young people. When a juvenile is charged with a crime, an attorney is required to represent that child, and if the charge isn't handled properly, it can leave a harrowing mark on a young person's future .

At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, I have been defeating juvenile charges in Union County for over 35 years. I have successfully tried hundreds of juvenile court cases both as a county prosecutor and a private defense attorney. I am a knowledgeable and highly skilled attorney in the juvenile trial procedure and juvenile law. Contact me today at 1-866-664-8118 and get the results you need to get your child's life back on track.

I defend juveniles charged with committing a crime throughout New Jersey including Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Essex County, Somerset County, the towns of Union County, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Linden, Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, Kenilworth, Westfield, Mountainside, Union, and Scotch Plains.

NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer

Juvenile Arrest

When a juvenile commits a crime, the police have a lot of discretion in taking action. They can detain the juvenile, which is similar to an arrest and involves holding the juvenile in a detention center. Once the juvenile is detained, the officer can decide whether to release him after a simple warning or refer the case to juvenile court.

Juvenile Custody

When the police decide to detain a juvenile and refer the case to juvenile court, sometimes they will try to hold the juvenile in the detention center until the court proceedings take place. This is called custody. When the juvenile is held in custody, the parents must be notified immediately, and a hearing must be held the day after the initial detention in order to decide whether custody is proper.

Informal Charge

If the case is referred to juvenile court, a prosecutor or intake officer has discretion to either dismiss the case, handle the matter informally, or petition the matter, which means filing formal charges. If the officer decides to proceed informally, the juvenile will usually appear before a judge and be lectured. Often the juvenile will be required to perform some type of community service or pay restitution for damages.

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Formal Charge

If the juvenile is proceeded against formally, a petition that sets out the charges is filed, and a court date is set. When the date arrives, the juvenile goes before the court, and the judge read the charges. The judge then decides whether to keep the matter in juvenile court or transfer it to adult court.

Transfer to Adult Court

If the juvenile court decides to send the case to adult court, the judge sets a date for a fitness hearing. At the fitness hearing, the judge will decide whether the child shall be tried as a juvenile or an adult in the adult court.

Case heard in Juvenile Court

If the case stays in juvenile court, the juvenile will either enter into a plea agreement, which is an admission of guilt in exchange for certain penalties, or go to trial. Juvenile trial is called adjudication, and at adjudication, a judge will hear the case, determine the outcome, and sentence the juvenile.


In juvenile court, a judge has a lot of discretion in determining the sentence. A judge can sentence a juvenile to years in a detention facility without a set date for release. The judge has the ability to monitor the juvenile's progress and grant release only when the maximum time has been served or the judge believes the juvenile is rehabilitated. In situations like this, an attorney who is familiar with the judge is extremely valuable.

Records Sealed

Unlike records in adult court, records in juvenile court are sealed documents. Upon reaching a certain age and conditions like good behavior or clean drug testing, an experienced attorney can successfully initiate the process to expunge the juvenile record.

Return to my Juvenile Offenses Homepage or click on one of the links below to visit one of my other pages on juvenile charges:

When you walk into court, you need an attorney by your side who won't take no for an answer, who commands respect in the courtroom, and has a solid history of powerful wins. At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, I take on every case aggressively, thoroughly analyzing the evidence, and scrutinizing the facts to find loopholes in your case. I know that you expect results, and I expect to give them to you. Contact me today at 1-866-664-8118 for a free initial consultation.

My offices are located in Cranford and Elizabeth, New Jersey, at 190 North Ave. E., Cranford, New Jersey, 07016 & 740 Newark Ave., Elizabeth, New Jersey, 07208.