What Are Potential Punishments for Juvenile Offenders?
Jersey City & Freehold Attorneys serving Essex, Hudson, Monmouth County, and Nearby NJ Areas
If my teenager is found to be delinquent, what are the potential punishments or consequences?
No decision will be made regarding your child’s delinquency before the probation officer submits a pre-dispositional report and a disposition hearing is held. In this hearing the court will hear testimony and recommendations to determine whether the juvenile is delinquent or not. Once a child is found to be delinquent at the disposition hearing then the court has any available options for rehabilitation.
Possible Punishments a Judge May Impose on a Juvenile Found Delinquent
The court could send the teenager home with a warning, though in most cases the juvenile is placed on probation where they report to a probation officer regularly. A judge could also establish a curfew for the child, order them to attend counseling, submit to random drug testing, perform community service, maintain steady employment, and/or pay fines or compensation to the victim.
These requirements are very commonly determined in a plea agreement where the juvenile pleads guilty to some offenses in return for a more lenient sentence. Stricter requirements include electronic monitoring, house arrest, or placement in a youth program or special treatment school.
Harsher Penalties and Consequences for More Serious Offenses
In more serious cases, the juvenile may be taken from the parents and placed in a residential care facility or foster care. Finally, the child could be sent away to a juvenile correctional facility similar to adult incarceration but only with other juveniles.
In some cases the court will stay a sentence or place a jail term on hold so that if the juvenile violates probation then the judge will send the juvenile to jail. Jail time at a juvenile correctional facility robs a teen of years they should get to enjoy learning in school, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family. Instead they will be surrounded by walls and guards and made to march.
The New Jersey Justice system favors rehabilitation over incarceration, but when dealing with serious offenses there are still harsh consequences that can ruin a teen’s life. Having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney is vital to ensuring your child receives the best and most effective defense possible.
Know Your Child’s Rights
Children in juvenile court matters have many of the same rights as adults, including the right to remain silent, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to an attorney. It is important to understand the full extent of your rights while under investigation and before entering court. Our attorneys will take the time to review your rights and options and aggressively assert your rights at every stage in the juvenilecriminal process. Where available or when necessary, we will seek rehabilitation over incarceration for any minor.
Call 732-303-7857 or contact Clark & Clark online for a free consultation with an experienced criminal jury trial and juvenile crimes defense lawyer. We offer aggressive advocacy focused on obtaining positive results in your case.