Juvenile Arrest in New Jersey
New Jersey Juvenile Defense Attorney – Anthony N. Palumbo
Union County-Middlesex County-Monmouth County-Essex County
Police officers, prosecutors, and court officials have a lot of discretion in deciding how to handle juvenile arrests, which makes it important for a juvenile defendant to be represented by an attorney who’s familiar with juvenile court procedures and who has a good reputation with local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges.
I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo and a New Jersey juvenile defense attorney with more than 35 years of legal experience as a county and municipal prosecutor, a public defender, and a private criminal defense attorney. My background on both sides of the law and my strong reputation among local police and court officials gives my clients an edge that only an experienced local attorney can provide. To find out how I can help in your case and to schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact me today at 908-643-6801 or through the email form on my website.
Juvenile Delinquency Charges
A child under the age of 18 can be arrested and charged with juvenile delinquency for any action that would be considered a crime or offense if committed by an adult, including ordinance violations, disorderly conduct, assault, offenses involving marijuana and other drugs, sex crimes, and other criminal offenses. Juveniles can also be charged with offenses such as curfew violations and underage alcohol consumption.
Warnings and Stationhouse Adjustments
Police officers are encouraged to use informal methods to resolve cases involving minor juvenile offenses and conduct that is dangerous or disruptive, but not necessarily illegal. Juveniles in these sorts of cases may be issued a verbal curbside warning or the police officer may conduct a stationhouse adjustment.
In a stationhouse adjustment, the police officer asks the juvenile, the parents/guardians, and the victim, if willing, to go to the station to discuss the matter and determine the most appropriate response. The police officer may refer the juvenile to a social services agency or counseling program, or may require the juvenile to comply with appropriate conditions such as writing an apology letter, paying restitution, or performing community service. At a minimum, the juvenile must be given a warning of future consequences and must agree not to commit another offense.
If a juvenile offense cannot be resolved through a curbside warning or stationhouse adjustment, the law enforcement officer will sign a formal complaint charging the juvenile with the commission of a delinquent act. Complaints may also be signed by school officials, probation officers, and private citizens.
Review and Processing of Complaints
Once a delinquency complaint is signed, the case is referred to Family Court, where intake staff make a recommendation as to whether the complaint should be dismissed, diverted, or scheduled for court action. Factors that are taken into consideration in making this determination include the seriousness of the alleged offense, the age and maturity of the juvenile, whether the juvenile poses a danger to the community, the juvenile’s family circumstances, the juvenile’s prior record, and the juvenile’s willingness to participate in remedial education or counseling. The decision may also be influenced by recommendations from the prosecutor, the arresting police officer, or the victim.
Having a Juvenile Defense Lawyer By Your Side
If your child has been arrested for a juvenile crime, the most important thing you can do is to consult with an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the juvenile court procedure and advocate for the most lenient disposition available.
If you need a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer in Union, Middlesex, Somerset, Ocean or Monmouth County, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, through the email form on my website or at 908-643-6801 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.