As every parent knows, children sometimes get themselves into trouble. In some cases, they may end up in very serious trouble that lands them in the criminal justice system.
The New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission reports that hundreds of minors are charged as delinquents each week.
There are few things more stressful for a parent than learning that their child was arrested. If your child is facing charges, you need to know how to protect their rights and their future.
Here, our New Jersey juvenile defense attorney highlights the most important things that you need to do in this situation.
Four Things to Do After Your Child Gets Arrested in New Jersey
1. Find Out Exactly What Happened and What They are Facing
Nothing should come before your child’s health, safety, and well-being.
You need to be able to get as much information as you can about their case. There are laws in place that provide some protections to juvenile offenders. In New Jersey, the police should notify parents immediately about where their child is and what they are being charged with.
Among other things, minors receive quick initial hearings. Juveniles are often released to their parents after an arrest or detainment. However, there are some exceptions to that general rule.
If you are having trouble getting information, your rights or your child’s rights may have been violated. An experienced defense attorney can help you get the answers that you need and deserve.
2. Call an Experienced Juvenile Justice Attorney
If your child is facing a juvenile delinquency hearing, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible. Navigating New Jersey’s juvenile justice system is complex and confusing. A lawyer will explain the process to you and prepare you for the next steps and potential consequences.
A New Jersey juvenile delinquency attorney will protect your child’s rights and interests, and protect them from suffering any long-term consequences related to the arrest.
3. Explore All Options for Rehabilitation
There are many rehabilitative options for children in New Jersey’s juvenile justice system. A youthful indiscretion should not harm your child’s future.
Law enforcement and prosecutors do not always make the process easy on children and their parents. In some cases, they may not give parents useful information about alternative options. A lawyer can help you make sure that your child is treated fairly and gets access to the services that they need.
Many different options and programs are available in New Jersey. These include community service, paying restitution, counseling, or substance abuse programs.
The goal is to protect your child’s rights and future and to get them back on the correct path.
4. Be Ready to Take Action to Get Records Sealed
Parents should always make a plan to get their child’s records sealed. Start thinking about this as early on in the process as possible. You do not want a criminal record to impact your child’s ability to get into college or get a job.
Under state law (N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1), most juvenile records are eligible for expungement. After enough time has passed and certain conditions have been met, your child will no longer have a criminal record.
With proper planning, expungement of juvenile records can be done quickly. If you have questions about getting records sealed, a New Jersey expungement lawyer can help.
Speak to Our New Jersey Juvenile Defense Lawyer Right Away
At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, our New Jersey criminal defense attorney is a compassionate and committed advocate for juveniles.
If your child was arrested or charged as a delinquent, our legal team is here to help.
To set up a confidential legal consultation, contact us today.