FAQs About Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey

Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts or offenses committed by a young person under the age of 18 years. At the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP, we understand that adolescence is a delicate time that can sometimes lead to costly mistakes. However, we don’t believe one mistake made at such a young age should define the rest of someone’s life. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs regarding juvenile crimes in New Jersey, and we’re always available for a consultation should you need additional legal assistance. 

How Does A Juvenile Crime Differ From An Adult Crime?

A juvenile can commit crimes — drug trafficking, sexual assault, vandalism, disorderly conduct, etc. — of the same magnitude as that of an adult. However, they are usually judged differently due to their age and given a chance to avoid the harsh penalties that an adult would face in the same situation. Notably, juvenile courts have no juries, and judges and police officers have significant discretion when considering a crime’s circumstances.

Is There A Difference Between The Legal Rights Of Juveniles And That Of Adults?

Regardless of the suspect’s age, the law allows all defendants the right to remain silent and request their attorneys’ presence. However, while adults don’t have to retain their lawyers, a juvenile must have legal representation during all formal legal proceedings.

Are Juveniles Subjected To Similar Sentences As Adults?

A juvenile’s sentence is determined based on the gravity of the offense. While most are given a chance at rehabilitation or serve time in a juvenile detention center, others may face harsher consequences. A judge can rule that the juvenile be subjected to probation, community service, and/or a fine. The defendant may also have to enroll in anger management programs, educational programs, or drug and alcohol rehab centers to complete their rehabilitation.

Are There Instances Where The Juvenile Can Be Tried As An Adult?

If a minor has committed a violent crime such as arson, aggravated sexual assault, or murder, they may be charged as an adult. Those with a long record of being found guilty of other juvenile crimes may end up facing a jury trial in superior courts as well. 

We Can Help With Your Juvenile Case!

You should work with an experienced team of criminal lawyers if your child faces a juvenile charge in Bordentown or Hamilton Township, NJ. At the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP, we have represented and won justice for many defendants facing juvenile delinquency charges over the years. Our experience and background put us in a great position to ensure your child gets help instead of jail time. As leading experts in criminal law throughout Monmouth County and other parts of NJ, the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP are dedicated to offering effective, high-quality, and timely legal help.