All criminal charges involving juveniles in Essex County are handled at the Superior Court, Family Division, in Newark NJ. This is commonly referred to as the Juvenile Delinquency Court and there is no jurisdiction for any other court in the county to preside over a juvenile case. The only except is where the violation involves a motor vehicle offense, in which case the matter is heard in Municipal Court, or where jurisdiction is waived. Our legal team includes former prosecutors, even out of Essex County, who are highly experienced in defending minors charged with everything from disorderly persons offenses to first degree crimes, and everything in between (e.g. second degree crime, third degree crime or fourth degree crime). Attorneys at the firm are available around the clock to assist you and initial consultations are free of charge. If your child has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense like robbery, drug possession, drug distribution, aggravated assault, simple assault or burglary, give us a call so that his/her interests are protected.
Juvenile Criminal Defense Laweyrs in Newark NJ
While the primary goal of the juvenile system is to rehabilitate, this does not mean that there aren’t consequences when a child is accused of violating the New Jersey Criminal Code. If the offense is serious enough, the minor will be subject to arrest and can even be detained at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center. The child must be represented by an attorney at every stage of the legal proceedings and the legal process usually starts with the Mandatory Assignment of Counsel Hearing. If the child is detained in custody then the first appearance is initial Detention Hearing. When a crime is exceptionally violent, the Juvenile Justice Unit of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office can even move to have the proceedings waived up to the Criminal Division so that the child may be tried as an adult. What should be obvious from all of this is that the juvenile justice system can get intricate and familiarity with the Juvenile Division in Newark can often prove invaluable in effectively defending a charge. Our lawyers include former juvenile prosecutors and a defense team with over 100 years experience defending minors.
Types of Juvenile Charges Our Newark NJ Firm Handles
The City of Newark has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the state and, not surprisingly, the charges heard at the Essex County Juvenile Division can be more extreme than most counties. The majority of juvenile cases heard at the Newark Courthouse involve indictable crimes of the first, second, third or fourth degree. The court also possesses jurisdiction, however, to decide disorderly persons offenses. The types of cases more commonly heard at the court include:
- Distribution of Drugs
- Assault Charges
- Sex Crimes
- Possession of Marijuana, Heroin & Other Drugs
- Theft, including Burglary and Robbery
The potential period of incarceration for an indictable crime is between 1-4 years, depending on the degree of the crime. And if a child commits certain serious offenses and/or it is believed that he/she cannot be rehabilitated by age 19, they can be waived up to the Essex County Criminal Court and tried as an adult. The consideration and factors in juvenile sentencing are obviously different than in adult cases (e.g. maximum sentence is 4 years as compared to life in the worst adult cases).
Newark NJ Juvenile Defense Attorneys
Our legal team is available 24/7 to assist you and initial consultations are always without charge. You therefore have no reason to hesitate in contacting us if your child has been arrested or is under investigation for any form of juvenile offense. We will insure that the interests and future of your child are protected.