Juveniles who have been taken into custody or charged with a crime or disorderly persons offense in Ocean County may face very serious consequences. Accordingly, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Toms River juvenile criminal defense attorney if your child has been summoned for a court appearance in the Family Part of the Superior Court in Ocean County, New Jersey.
If your son or daughter has been arrested for theft, assault, trespassing, disorderly person, eluding, or other criminal act, New Jersey’s juvenile justice system usually does little to make the situation any easier. While the Ocean County Juvenile Justice system is supposed to be based on “rehabilitating” the juvenile, often the police and prosecutors take a very adversarial approach.
There is a common misconception that juvenile adjudications are insignificant and that they simply go away automatically and are sealed forever. Rather, juvenile’s can face lasting consequences for their mistakes. For example, law school applications, medical school applications, law enforcement and some government jobs require applicants to disclose their entire criminal history, even that which occurred when the applicant was under 18 years old.
Under New Jersey law, juveniles are never really “arrested.” Rather, they are “taken into custody.” If the allegations against them are proven in court, they are not “convicted of a crime, but rather “adjudicated delinquent.” The terminology differences between the adult and juvenile justice system alone can cause great confusion to parents. Municipal Courts in New Jersey are not allowed to hear juvenile delinquency cases. These cases are instead heard in the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part. If your child has been scheduled to appear in the Juvenile / Family Court, he or she must be represented by an attorney. Call now for a consultation on how the situation can be best handled by an attorney who knows the system.