A juvenile in the state of New Jersey is anyone under the age of eighteen. Under the New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice, all judicial proceedings are handled in a different court than usual proceedings, called the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part.
If you’re a juvenile and you’ve been convicted of a crime, or you are a parent of a child seeking an attorney, our criminal defense attorneys have over twenty years of experience in juvenile crime proceedings. Call us today at 888-355-4752.
Distinctions Between Juvenile and Adult Offenses
Under New Jersey’s Code of Juvenile Justice, there are several distinctions between juvenile delinquency charges and adult offenses. For one, juveniles are usually taken into custody rather than arrested. If charges are brought against them, they are considered ‘adjudicated delinquent’ under the law, and aren’t convicted. Most charges against juveniles are handled in the Family Part. However, if a juvenile committed a crime such a motor vehicle offense, smoking in a public place, or a violation of municipal
curfews, it can be considered an adult crime and would be dealt with in a regular courtroom.
Rights of Juveniles
- The same constitutional protections that adults have are also extended to juveniles, including:
- The presumption of innocence.
- The right to confront witnesses.
- The right to compulsory process.
- The burden of the State to prove all elements of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The right to testify.
- The right to not testify.
Charges against juveniles are heard and decided by a judge alone, with no help from the jury. Juveniles who are placed in detention awaiting trial don’t have a right to release on bail.
Juvenile Crimes Attorneys at Ellis Law Advocate for Young Offenders