A common misconception is that a minor who is charged with a crime or a disorderly persons offense must report to the Criminal Division or Municipal Court. In New Jersey, a minor charged with a disorderly persons offense or a criminal offense is referred to the Family Division of the county.
Why is it important that the case is heard in Family Court?
Since the case involves a minor, it is considered a closed proceeding, as opposed to a Municipal Court or Criminal Division proceeding which is open to the public.
Why should you hire a lawyer for a juvenile case?
Even though the case is heard in Family Court, the same principles apply that would be considered in other criminal proceedings. It is important to be represented by an attorney who is familiar with these principles and the law.
What are the possible outcomes of a juvenile case?
The good news is that the court system believes in second chances. Young people can make mistakes and there are procedures in place to recognize that. In Family Court, a juvenile can be offered a differed disposition or a period of adjustment. You may have heard of Pre-Trial Intervention or Conditional Discharge. A differed disposition or period of adjustment is similar to those other programs because upon successful completion of the program, the charges against the juvenile are dismissed.
Call me at (201) 343-4622 and I would be happy to discuss your juvenile case with you.