Wyckoff NJ Juvenile Drug Possession Attorneys

The Juvenile Criminal Justice System is differs drastically from the Adult Criminal Justice System. The juvenile criminal justice system in New Jersey is geared strictly towards rehabilitation, unlike the adult system, which is geared towards punishment and incarceration.  However, with that being said, if your child has been arrested for possession of either marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs, or even heroin they could be facing serious penalties. Baring unusual circumstances, a juvenile faced with possession of any of the aforementioned drugs would not be facing incarceration in the Jamesburg Detention Center but they may be facing a criminal record, license loss, house arrest and even complete a court ordered rehabilitation program. Usually the first question a parent asks is whether or not they need to hire a lawyer for their child’s case, the answer is yes. Under the court rules, unless the matter is scheduled for a juvenile conference committee, they must report to the court hearing with an attorney. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. We have been successfully handling juvenile matters in Bergen County in towns like River Vale, Montvale, Bergenfield, Paramus, Lodi, Ridgefield Park , Rochelle Park, Oakland and Hackensack.

Juvenile Drug Possession Charges in Bergen County NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10

The most common juvenile drug possession offense issued in Bergen County New Jersey is the unlawful possession of marijuana. The governing statute is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10A(4). A first time offender, will typically walk away from this offense on what is known as a differed disposition. Basically, the defendant will be placed on a non-supervised probation for specified period, which will be set by the judge and if that term is completed without issue, the charges will be dropped. The defendant will most likely not suffer a license loss, high fines nor a permanent criminal record. Obviously, a permanent criminal record would severely harm any chances of getting into the college of their dreams.

Other common juvenile drug possession charges issued in Bergen County are the unlawful possession of cocaine, the unlawful possession of heroin and the unlawful possession of prescription drugs. The governing statute in New Jersey for the unlawful possession of cocaine or heroin is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1) and the statute for unlawful possession of prescription drugs is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5. Getting a child into a deferred disposition program on any of these offenses will be much harder than say a simple marijuana possession charge. With that being said, it is definitely possible. The handling attorney will need to put-forth enough compelling reasons to convince the judge and prosecutor that your child is deserving the benefits of a diversionary program.

Applicable Penalties if Convicted:

The degree of the offense in which you are charged with will be identical to the adult system and just like the adult system the degree will be determined by the quantity in which you possessed. However, the potential exposure to incarceration is drastically less. If your child is charged with a third degree indictable offense, they will be facing a maximum of two years in a juvenile detention center, instead of the three – five years in a state prison in the adult system. If they were charged with a fourth degree indictable offense they will be facing up to one year in a juvenile detention center, instead of the eighteen months in a state prison in the adult system.  If they were charged with a disorderly persons offense they will be facing up to six months in a juvenile detention center. Although the potential exposure time is drastically less in the juvenile justice system, any time in juvenile detention center would devastating for not only your child but his family as well.

Where will my child’s matter be heard?

If your child is charged with a criminal offense, no matter where the offense occurred, it will be heard in the family division in the county where you reside. Therefore, if you live in Bergen County, irrespective of where the incident happened, the matter will be heard at 10 Main Street in Hackensack New Jersey in the Family Division. With that being said, if there is a co-defendant in your child’s case, and the matter occurred another county and the co-defendant resides in that county, the matter may be transferred to that county.

Juvenile Marijuana Possession Attorneys in Palisades Interstate Park NJ

Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall we are will aware of the fact that your child being charged with a criminal offense can be an extremely traumatic event for you and your family.  Our staff is comprised of seven criminal defense attorneys, making our firm on of the largest criminal defense firms in the state, let alone Bergen County. We have the experience and skill necessary to protect your child’s interests. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact any one of our Bergen County offices for an initial consultation.