New Jersey Juvenile Defense Lawyer
If your child is under 18 years old and is accused of a crime, the matter will most likely be heard in the Family Court. However, if the crime involves a serious offense such as armed robbery, the prosecutor can seek to have the case moved to the Superior court, Criminal Division, where the outcome can be life altering and the penalties harsh. You and your child need a competent, compassionate New Jersey juvenile defense attorney by your side to guide you through the complexities of the juvenile court.
Juvenile Criminal Matters in New Jersey Family Court
When dealing with juvenile criminal matters, the Family Court focuses on a result that will rehabilitate the offender, and many times this can be achieved without incarceration. A juvenile found guilty may be required to pay fines, make restitution for damages he or she caused the victim, or perform community service in lieu of restitution. Other rehabilitative measures are also available under New Jersey laws regarding juvenile criminal matters.
Juvenile Criminal Matters in New Jersey Criminal Court
In the “adult” Criminal Court system of New Jersey, where your child would be treated as an adult in sentencing, a conviction may result in a term of imprisonment. While this may seem a reason to avoid criminal court at all costs, only a qualified juvenile crime attorney can explain to you and your child the advantages and disadvantages of the two alternatives. For instance, there is no option for a jury trial in juvenile cases resolved in family court. There may be times when a skilled New Jersey juvenile defense lawyer would advise a strategy of letting a Criminal Court jury see your child, hear your child’s side of the story, and reach a conclusion based on these human variables. It is the job of a knowledgeable, competent juvenile defense attorney to ascertain whether accepting or contesting a waiver to Criminal Court is in the best interests of your child.
The Cherry Hill juvenile defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio are experienced criminal law attorneys who are well-versed in the complexities of the juvenile court system as played out in the New Jersey Family Courts, as well as the Criminal Courts. Our juvenile defense attorneys are prepared to review the specific facts of your child’s case and discuss your particular objectives in resolution of the matter. Only after careful consideration will we recommend acceptance of a plea bargain or proceeding to trial.
Typical Juvenile Crimes
Michele Finizio, Esq., New Jersey juvenile defense lawyer is experienced in representing children and teenagers accused of all types of crimes, including disorderly conduct, shoplifting, truancy, vandalism and traffic offenses. She is also prepared to defend your child for more serious offenses such as assault or threat crimes, DUI or driving while intoxicated, auto theft, underage drinking, drug possession or distribution, robbery or burglary. In addition, she has the knowledge to defend against charges such as internet crime or sexual assault.
Escalation of Crimes & Expungment of Juvenile Crimes
Some crimes that a juvenile is more likely to commit can carry “escalated” consequences. For example, if your child hits a teacher or police officer, a simple assault charge instantly becomes aggravated assault. A guilty verdict for graffiti or possession of marijuana can mean the loss of a juvenile’s driver’s license.
If your child’s case does result in a finding of guilt, that conviction will not automatically disappear when your child turns 18 years of age. A motion to seal, or expunge the record of your child’s juvenile arrest and conviction must be filed with the Court. NJ Criminal Court lawyer, Michele Finizio can guide you every step of the way to ensure that a thoughtless, careless misstep has the smallest possible impact on your child’s future.