Table of Contents

Table of Contents

New Jersey Juvenile Lawyers

Our Approach

Our New Jersey Juvenile lawyers are committed to fighting for your child. You will benefit from our extensive trial experience.
Most importantly, we will be honest with your family about the strengths & weaknesses of your case. We never guarantee results. However, we absolutely guarantee that we will aggressively fight for you!

As juvenile lawyers, we know that your child’s freedom & future are at stake.

When you hire us, you will get complete access to us. We respond to all communications & really care about our clients. Our fees are reasonable and we offer payment plans. 

Parents Are Not Alone

You have devoted your life to making certain that all of your children’s needs have been met.

Most importantly, you have done everything in your power to raise your child with the proper values.

Recently, you receive a phone call in the middle of the night. The caller is either your child or a law enforcement officer. Within seconds, it feels as though your world comes crumbling down.

Naturally, you turn inward and question yourself.

“Where did I go wrong? What did I miss? What happens now? What could I have done to prevent this?”

Please know that as juvenile lawyers we have helped countless families get through these challenging times. 

teenagers gangs fighting punch violence

New Jersey Law States That A Juvenile Defendant Must Have An Attorney

In New Jersey there is a rule, or more specifically, a requirement which states that a juvenile (person under 18) facing criminal charges must have a lawyer. In other words, juveniles charged with crimes in NJ cannot appear Pro Se (representing themselves).

If the juvenile is not eligible for the services of a public defender, he/she must retain the services of an attorney (preferably a Criminal Defense Attorney).

Adjudicated Delinquent

In the New Jersey Juvenile System, if a juvenile is found guilty of the acts charged, they are“Adjudicated Delinquent”. 
In other words, instead of saying “the juvenile was convicted”, we say, “the juvenile was Adjudicated Delinquent”.

Important: If your child has been charged with a serious felony, he/she may be "waived up". This means that your child will be treated as an adult for purposes of prosecution.

Will my child go to prison?

Exposure to imprisonment is possible but as experienced juvenile lawyers, we can tell you that incarceration is highly unlikely. 

For the most part, if a Superior Family Court Judge “convicts” your child of the underlying charge, that judge has the discretion to choose from the following penalties or forms of “punishment”.

  •      Adjourned disposition;
  •      Required community service;
  •      Diversionary program;
  •      Monetary fines;
  •      Period of probation;
  •      Release of the juvenile to a parent or guardian;
  •      Required parental involvement in the juvenile’s rehabilitation;
  •    Treatment for mental health issues, substance abuse, and/or alcoholism;
  •      Restitution (requiring the juvenile to provide compensation for damage s/he caused);
  •      Suspension of a juvenile’s driver’s license;
  •      Work, academic, and/or vocational programs
First-time offenders have the most options available to them. When representing your child, we have the strongest arguments to make on your child’s behalf if this was their first encounter with the law. 
If your child has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement, there may be bigger issues at play. The challenges will be greater, but we never lose hope and will always prepare maximally.

New Jersey Laws Regarding Juvenile Custody & Detention

If your child has been taken into custody and is not released immediately after questioning, this is a red flag.
When your child is not immediately released after questioning, you should get a lawyer. It would be best to have a lawyer before questioning.

In all likelihood, your child is involved in something serious.
Quite often, it’s drugs.

You probably have no idea what’s going on and that’s all the reason you need to retain counsel.

Whenever a juvenile faces charges in NJ, the State must hold an initial detention hearing the following morning to determine whether or not he/she must remain in custody.

As things develop, the State imposes requirements on the amount of time that a juvenile can be held in detention.

Our job as defense lawyers is to take immediate action.

We file “motions” (formal legal requests) that demand your child’s immediate release.

Once we get involved, we get to the bottom of things.

We make certain that once we enter as your child’s legal defense team, we spend all of our energy focusing on the best interests of your child.

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A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.