What Your Client Does and Where

Juvenile Defense Attorneys in New Jersey

Assisting Minors Accused of Crimes in Cranford, Summit & the Surrounding Areas

For parents, there are few things more frightening than receiving a call that your child has been taken into custody. Regardless of the charges, a guilty finding can dramatically alter your child’s life, putting their freedom and future in jeopardy. In New Jersey, juvenile charges are handled differently than adult charges. This is why it is vital that you hire an experienced New Jersey juvenile defense attorney if your child has been accused of a delinquent crime. At the Cifrodello Law Offices, we pride ourselves on our commitment to client-focused legal services. We are results driven, and our team is prepared to do everything we can to defend your child’s rights.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation. We can be reached via our online contact form or by phone at (732) 709-7406. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout Cranford, Elizabeth, Linden, Summit, and Plainfield.

Understanding Juvenile Offenses in New Jersey

When a person under the legal adult age of 18 is charged with an offense, he or she enters the New Jersey juvenile justice system. This system is separate from the adult justice system and has a few key differences.

Some of these differences include:

  • A juvenile is charged with a “delinquent act,” rather than a “crime”
  • Minors are “taken into custody,” rather than “arrested”
  • If found guilty, juveniles are considered “adjudicated delinquents” (as opposed to being “convicted”)
  • Juvenile cases are handled in family court (with some exceptions) without a trial by jury
  • The primary purpose of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation, rather than punishment
  • Minors 15 and older can be involuntarily waived to adult court (“tried as an adult”), but those 14 and younger cannot
  • Differences in sentencing, including differences in prison time, probationary periods, etc. (these are typically less than for adults)
  • Juvenile criminal records are not available to the public, though they are visible to certain parties, including colleges and prospective employers

Because of these differences, many people mistakenly believe that juvenile offenses are not as serious as adult charges. This is simply not true. If found to be an adjudicated delinquent (“guilty”), your child could face serious impacts on his or her future, including difficulties getting a job, obtaining higher education, finding housing, and more. Juveniles who are found to have violated Megan’s Law must register as sex offenders—sometimes for the remainder of their lives.

Possible Penalties for Adjudicated Delinquents

Though the penalties for minors tend to be less severe than those for adults, this is not always the case. If your child is tried as an adult, he or she could be facing penalties as harsh as life imprisonment. While in prison, juveniles can also receive “room restriction” (known as “solitary confinement” for adults) for up to five consecutive days.

Even in less severe cases, your child could be subject to strict penalties, such as:

  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Fines and court costs
  • Mandatory probation
  • Sex offender registration
  • Imprisonment

In addition to criminal charges, your child could face civil litigation if he or she is accused of causing injuries or destroying property.

What to Do if Your Child Is Taken into Custody

It is very important that you hire a New Jersey juvenile crimes lawyer who understands this particular area of law. Juvenile crimes are handled differently than adult offenses and, as such, require the experience and skill of a seasoned juvenile defense attorney.

At the Cifrodello Law Offices, we have helped minors accused of underage DUI, aggravated assault, theft, marijuana possession, curfew violation, weapon offenses, and more. We have also helped juveniles with expungement, allowing those accused of delinquent acts more easily integrate back into society. We understand that this is a stressful time for your family. That is why we are here to handle every aspect of your child’s case from start to finish.

Give us a call at (732) 709-7406 to discuss your situation with one of our New Jersey juvenile defense lawyers today.