Bergen County NJ Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys
If your child has been charged with a criminal offense in Bergen County New Jersey it is imperative for you to speak to an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney. The juvenile criminal justice system in New Jersey is drastically different then the adult criminal justice system. Although the overall goal of the juvenile system in is to rehabilitate the individual not to punish and incarcerate them that goal changes drastically depending on either the underline charges or the juveniles prior record. Some of the most common charges litigated in juvenile court in Bergen County include simple assault, marijuana possession, marijuana distribution, shoplifting and burglary.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff, including over twenty years combined of prosecuting experience. Our firm have been representing juveniles charged criminal throughout Bergen County in towns like Paramus, Hackensack, Fort Lee, Mahwah, Ramsey, Saddle Brook, Ridgefield Park and Rochelle Park for over fifteen years. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense and is under the age of eighteen it is important that you speak to a juvenile criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our office is available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. We fully understand that a loved one being charged with a criminal offense can be extremely nerve racking. To schedule a free initial consultation today with any one of the eight criminal defense attorneys on staff please contact us at 201.429.9783.
Common Juvenile Charges in Bergen County:
Important Distinctions between the Juvenile & Adult System:
- As stated above, the juvenile system is geared towards rehabilitation instead of the traditional punishment aspect of the adult system.
- Juvenile matters will be handled in the Family Division of the Bergen County Superior Court instead of the Criminal Division where adult criminal matters are handled.
- Any juvenile record received will be sealed when the minor reaches the age of 18 as opposed to the adult system where it will remain on that individual’s record until it is eligible to be expunged.
- A trial in the juvenile system will be handled as a bench trial as opposed to the common jury trials conducted in the adult system.
Common Punishments for a Juvenile in NJ:
Traditionally, if the minor was charged with a low level offense, defense counsel can convince a judge to allow the minor to enter a diversionary program. Further, an experienced defense counsel may even be able to convince the judge to divert the case out of the Family Division and send the matter to either a Referee or even a Juvenile Conference Committee. Both of those proceedings are less formal and the potential penalties can be drastically less. For more information on these options please contact our Hackensack office at 201.429.9783.
With all that being said, if the minor is charged with a serious crime such as robbery, burglary, drug distribution or carjacking the prosecution may attempt to have the juvenile waived up to the criminal division an prosecuted as an adult. This would subject the individual the potential of lengthy incarceration and a permanent criminal record. If a juvenile is waived up and prosecuted as an adult the potential ramifications are catastrophic. For example, here is a breakdown of the difference in the potential exposure one faces if convicted of certain offenses:
- First Degree Felony = 10 – 20 Years in a State Prison
- Second Degree Felony = 5 – 10 Years in a State Prison
- Third Degree Felony = 3 – 5 Years in a State Prison
- Fourth Degree Felony = 18 Months in a State Prison
- Disorderly Persons Offense = 6 Months in the Bergen County Jail
- First Degree Felony = 4 Years in Jamesburg
- Second Degree Felony = 3 Years in Jamesburg
- Third Degree Felony = 2 Years in Jamesburg
- Fourth Degree Felony = 1 Year in Jamesburg
- Disorderly Persons Offense = 6 Months in a Juvenile Detention Center
Experienced New Jersey Juvenile Criminal Defense Firm
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the experience in the juvenile justice system to adequately protect your child’s rights. Mr. Oliver who heads up our Hackensack Office has extensive experience representing juveniles charged with a wide variety of offense, including but not limited too aggravated assault, robbery, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, harassment and cyberstalking. When a juvenile is charged with a criminal offense in Bergen County or elsewhere in New Jersey there future is on the line. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney about your options as a juvenile conviction can weigh heavily on your child’s future for example getting admitted into colleges. Please contact any one of our Bergen County offices for a free consultation with one of our experienced juvenile defense attorneys. We can be reached directly at 201-429-9783.