If your child or loved one has been arrested and they are less than 18 years old, their matter will be heard within the Superior Court where the Juvenile resides. Even if the matter would have otherwise been heard in the local municipal court, juvenile matters are heard within the Family Division of the Superior Court. Depending on the severity of the arrest and whether there were co-defendants arrested at the same time, the case will either before a referee or a Superior Court Judge.
If this is the juvenile's first time in the judicial system, then it is possible for an experienced criminal attorney to negotiate a deal for the juvenile where he or she gets their matter dismissed after a period of time. This type of resolution is referred to as a deferred disposition. If your child has been arrested for Possession of Marijuana less than 50 grams, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance, including heroin, zanax, and cocaine), Theft, Aggravated Assault or any other disorderly persons offense, fourth degree or third degree offense, then he or she could be eligible for this type of resolution. If there are drugs and/or alcohol involved the Judge might require mandatory drug testing and other conditions.
Often times, young people make a wrong decision and this should not ruin their bright future. It is important to have an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side so that this minor mistake does effect the juvenile long term.