Attorney For Juvenile
Charges In New Jersey
What To Expect If Your Child Was Arrested In NJ
WHAT COURT ARE JUVENILE MATTERS HEARD IN?
Family Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in the county where the arrest occurred. Our office handles juvenile matters in Mercer County, Middlesex County and Burlington County. Those addresses are:
- Mercer County Superior Court, Family Division, 175 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08650
- Burlington County Superior Court, Family Division, 49 Rancocas Road, Mount Holly, NJ 08060
- Middlesex County Superior Court, Family Division, 56 Paterson St., New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0964
CAN I POST BAIL IF MY MINOR SON/DAUGHTER WAS ARRESTED?Matters involving a minor do not allow bail. Unfortunately, the child will remain at a center or shelter until a Judge issues their release.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY CHILD?
The matter will be reviewed quickly and depending on the facts, may go to:
- Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) Panel: staffed by trained citizen volunteer panel appointed by the court. This is an informal discussion of the events and all parties must be in agreement. The disposition recommendations will be placed on an agreement or court order signed by the child, legal guardian, and person who filed the complaint. The judge will then have final approval.
- Intake Service Conference (ISC): conducted by a court staff person. This is an informal discussion of the events and all parties must be in agreement. The disposition recommendations will be placed on an agreement or court order signed by the child, legal guardian, and person who filed the complaint. The judge will then have final approval.
- Juvenile Referee in an informal court setting: hearing where the child will be expected to admit or deny the allegations in the complaint. If necessary, a finding of fact will be made by the referee and a determination of delinquency. A recommendation will be made to the judge regarding the finding and disposition. The judge needs to approve the disposition. If you disagree, you must notify the referee before the findings and recommendations are sent to the judge.
- Hearing before a Judge in a formal court setting
DOES MY SON/DAUGHTER NEED A LAWYER?
Whenever jail or detention centers are a possibility or whenever someone is arrested, we strongly recommend an attorney is involved from the beginning. Arrests can follow a person for the rest of their life and ruin it before it was started. If the proceeding goes before a Judge, your child MUST have an attorney. All other hearings do not require it, but are strongly recommended due to the penalties and ramifications involved. If there is a possibility of removing your child from the home, the court will require your child to be represented by a lawyer.
I CAN NOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY
As a parent, you can submit a 5A form application for a Public Defender and the court will determine if your child is eligible. Not all juvenile matters qualify for a Public Defender. It depends on what stage the process is in, in addition to your financial status. If you do not apply for a public defender or do not qualify, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent your child and you will have to pay that attorney at the end of the case.
WILL MY CHILD GO TO JAIL?
The goal is to avoid a detention center. Alternative sentences could include: Counseling, Supervised probation, Community service, Fines, Restitution, Loss of driver’s license, House arrest, Curfew, Out of home placement, Residential drug and alcohol program, Electronic monitoring, Probation and Transfer of custody.
CAN MY CHILD’S CASE BE SENT TO ADULT COURT?
Depending on the severity of the charges and crime, a juvenile can be waived up to adult criminal court where they will be subject to the same penalties and jail time as if they were an adult.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
- Mercer County Family Division 609-571-4390
- Burlington County Family Division 609-518-2691
- Middlesex County Family Division 732-519-3266
Here is a flow chart of the juvenile justice process in New Jersey
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