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Protecting The Futures Of Those Charged With Juvenile Crimes

Everyone makes mistakes, but as we all know, young people are particularly vulnerable to the concept of testing rules. Being young and in trouble with the law can be a very scary experience. What is important to remember is that juveniles have a better chance to turn things around and face much less severe punishments should they receive a conviction in court. However, the situation is still very serious and requires the attention of a highly skilled attorney.

Depending on the situation, the penalties associated with New Jersey juvenile crimes can be extremely serious – including real jail time. There are nearly 300 young individuals that are currently incarcerated in New Jersey prisons. A conviction on a juvenile’s permanent record is no laughing matter. This can easily affect their chances of employment or acceptance to educational institutions.

At The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen, I understand the impact that juvenile charges can have on an entire family. Parents are worried about their child, children are scared of going to jail. I am committed to help ease these fears by structuring a strong defense. By aggressively protecting your child in juvenile court, I strive to find a solution to the case that protects their future and that of your family.

Common Crimes Associated With Juveniles In New Jersey

Juveniles are known for consistently committing certain crimes more often than others. The most commonly seen crimes associated with those under the age of 18 include:

  • Disorderly persons offenses traffic violations, curfew violations, disturbing the peace, loitering, car joyriding
  • School offenses campus crimes, truancy, defaming school property
  • Assault and threat crimes threatening with a weapon, harassment, stalking, verbal threats, terroristic threats, physical assault, simple assault, bullying, cyberbullying, cybercrime
  • Drug crimes drug possession, drug use, drug distribution, DUID
  • DWI and Alcohol-Related Crimes underage drinking, DWI, DUI
  • Sexual offenses – sexual assault, sexual harassment
  • Theft and property crimes – shoplifting, burglary, theft, vandalism, breaking and entering, trespassing, graffiti
  • Weapons Charges possession, threatening with a weapon

Rehabilitation And Penalties For Juveniles In New Jersey

When a juvenile is convicted of a crime, the penalties that are laid out in turn tend to be a lot less intense than if it was an adult being convicted. Juvenile court sees detainment as a last resort and instead looks for ways to rehabilitate and educate instead. While people are young, they have a much better chance of being able to grow out of bad behaviors and poor attitudes. The justice system of America believes in trying to move a young criminal towards a better path whenever and wherever possible.

Penalties and rehabilitative requirements for convicted juvenile may include:

  1. Incarceration
    • Confinement: Juvenile is required to remain at home unless going to a job or school or other important situations such a funeral or a doctor’s appointment.
    • New guardian: Juvenile is moved to a new home with a relative or new guardian.
    • Juvenile Hall: These are temporary juvenile jails and holding facilities for those awaiting placement to a facility or program or awaiting pre-trial.
    • Community homes: Special homes that allow more freedom and group housing with other juveniles that also offer group therapy and other rehabilitation programs.
    • Secured juvenile facilities: Similar to community homes but with more security and less privileges.
    • Jail: This can be either juvenile jail or adult jail depending on conviction, age, and crime committed.
  2. Rehabilitation
    • Counseling: Therapy to help juveniles work through mental issues and personal problems.
    • Drug rehab: To help juveniles recover from drug addiction.
    • Community service: Volunteering, which can include anything from helping with charities to cleaning roads or parks.
    • Essay writing: Sometimes a judge decides a juvenile may benefit from personal reflection and writing about their life and decisions.
    • Corrections programs: Special programs are sometimes created such as educational programs (for example, Voices, which helps juvenile women with empowerment and self-discovery).
  3. Other Penalties
    • Reprimanding: Sometimes something is minor enough that a judge decides that verbal scolding and warning is the best option.
    • Fines: Paying money is a lighter way of punishing and showing there are consequences to one’s actions.
    • Electronic monitoring: This can help monitor a juvenile’s whereabouts which can make them think twice before doing certain things.
    • Probation: A program of supervision where a minor’s freedom is limited, and activities are restricted. Often combined with other penalties or rehabilitation requirements.

Let’s Talk About The Next Best Steps

I am here to help you, your child and your family every step of the way in a juvenile crime case. I offer a free initial consultation so we can discuss how to get started on a defense. Contact my office online or call me in Haddonfield at 856-754-5501.