Toms River Police take a good amount of juveniles into custody each month. A juvenile can never technically be “arrested,” however a police officer may take a juvenile into police custody, which is really the same thing as an arrest. The Toms River Police and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office have taken an aggressive stance on juvenile crime lately. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense in Toms River, call to speak with a New Jersey juvenile lawyer.
Toms River juvenile drug charges are probably the most common delinquency complaints filed by Toms River Police. The most common Toms River drug charge is possession of marijuana, in violation of NJSA 2C:35-10A4. However, juvenile complaints for burglary, assault, and other acts of delinquency are also common.
If a juvenile is charged with delinquency in Toms River, their case will be sent to the Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River. The case will be prosecuted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. The judge in the Toms River juvenile court is the Honorable James M. Blaney, J.S.C. Judge Blaney’s court is located at Courtroom #15, Ocean County Justice Complex.
In some cases, a juvenile’s case may be sent to another court without the juvenile’s consent. This is known as the “waiver” process.
The waiver process begins with the prosecutor making a waiver motion to the judge in the Family Part. This waiver can be challenged by the juvenile’s lawyer. However, if certain conditions are met, the Family Part judge generally must grant the prosecution’s motion. The following criteria must be met:
- The juvenile must have been at least 14 years-old when the crime (“act of delinquency”) was committed;
- The judge must find that is probable cause that the juvenile committed the act complained of;
- The act must constitute one of the following crimes: Criminal Homicide (not death by auto unless DWI related); causing a drug-induced death; first-degree robbery; aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; second-degree aggravated assault; kidnapping; aggravated arson.
In lieu of the juvenile currently having committed one of these crimes, there are other ways to waive the child to adult court. One is where the juvenile commits a crime after being already adjudicated delinquent for one of those enumerated crimes. Another is after the juvenile has been sentenced and confined to an adult prison for a prior offense. Additionally, if the juvenile commits a willful crime involving violence and aggression, they can be waived. Other cases that are waivable are unlawful possession of a weapon, arson, or death by auto involving DWI.
Crimes that can be considered part of a continuing criminal activity with two or more persons, if the juvenile has “devoted himself to criminal activity as a source of livelihood. A conspiracy or attempt to commit one of these crimes is also waivable. Theft of an automobile can also be waived. In other cases, the prosecutor’s office can still make a waiver motion but the court has more discretion. This is if the juvenile commits a particularly serious crime and the judge finds that the interest of the public requires waiver.
If the juvenile lawyer can show that they are rehabilitatable before reaching the age of 19, and this substantially outweighs the reasons for the waiver, the judge should not grant the motion. There is a limitation to this rule for juveniles age 16 or over who have committed certain offenses described above.
If your child is facing a juvenile criminal charge in Toms River, I can help. Call to speak with a NJ juvenile lawyer.