I have represented numerous juveniles who have been arrested in throughout Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. It is essential that the attorney representing the juvenile is familiar with how the juvenile system work as well as how to handle the legal issues that arise in criminal matters.
These matters are heard in the Superior Courts within the Family Division. Many juveniles and often times their parents are surprised that the matter is going to be heard in a Superior Court instead of a Municipal Court. The matter is assigned to a family court Judge who deals with juvenile matters and is thus familiar with juvenile matters. If this is the juvenile's first offense, and the matter is minor in nature, often times he or she might be eligible for a deferred disposition, meaning that the sentence will be withheld for a specific time period and if the juvenile remains arrest free and complies with the imposed conditions then the matter will be dismissed. I have been in many situations where the Judge and/or Prosecutor is not inclined to give the Juvenile a deferred disposition for a variety of reasons. For example, they feel that the matter is too serious in nature, or they feel that that deferred dispositions are only appropriate for the most minor offenses since they do not believe probation should be dealing with these juveniles. Basically, there is inconsistently throughout the State of how juvenile matters are handled. Many times I have fought Judges on this issue and I have had great success.
It is important to have an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer fighting on your side throughout this process.