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New Jersey Criminal Lawyers for Juveniles

Juveniles are subject to a system that seeks to rehabilitate rather than punish individuals. It is actually civil and not criminal in nature, but all of the rules and protections for adult offenders apply except for the right to a jury trial.

The juvenile justice system has a series of potential stages, all of which are based on the severity of the criminal charges and the history of the juvenile. A juvenile suspected of or charged with a minor crime or offense may be eligible for a Stationhouse Adjustment, which means that the police can simply investigate the case and then decide to intervene, address the underlying charges, and not go forward with it.

A juvenile could also be referred to a juvenile conference committee, which is a more formal procedure. When charged, the juvenile must appear before the committee, which then decides what punishment should be given for the offense. This only applies if the juvenile is willing to admit to the wrongdoing. The next, and more serious, stage would be for a juvenile who is actually charged to have their case processed through a probation intake where the matter is sent to the Superior Court in the county where the juvenile resides and a probation officer evaluates the case. If the juvenile admits to the wrongdoing, they are placed on probation for a period of time. The most serious proceeding is a matter that is brought before a juvenile court judge for either entry of a plea or a trial.

New Jersey Lawyers for Matters Involving DCP&P

Our attorneys have experience assisting clients who are being investigated by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) or are facing a formal court action brought by the DCP&P. Such matters typically include parents or caregivers who have been accused of either an abuse or neglect of a child (anyone under the age of 18). These allegations can be for physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. The Division has the ability to remove children from households and interfere with the parents’ right to exercise custody. The Division can demand that individuals undertake certain a type of services. Children can be physically removed from their parents and placed into foster care.

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