What Can The Judge Do If The Juvenile Is Found Guilty?
- Adjourn the matter for a period of up to one year, commonly referred to as a deferred disposition. During that period that the matter is carried, the juvenile is to remain out of trouble. If the period is satisfactorily completed, the charge/complaint is dismissed;
- Place the juvenile on probation;
- Place the child under the care of the Department of Children and Families;
- Enter an order requiring the minor to make restitution for any losses suffered as a result of his/her conduct;
- Order the juvenile to perform a period of community service;
- Place the defendant in a program, including but not limited to, one involving work (with or without compensation);
- Order participation in counseling;
- Commit the child for purposes of psychiatric counseling;
- Place in the minor in a residential or nonresidential drug or alcohol treatment facility;
- Remand the child to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission for placement in a group home or private residential facility;
- Suspend the juvenile’s driver’s license and privileges to operate a motor vehicle;
- Incarcerate the child in the appropriate Youth Detention Facility or impose any other conditions reasonably intended to rehabilitate the juvenile.
How Does A Judge Determine The Appropriate Sentence In a Juvenile Case?
In determining what the appropriate sentence should be, the Judge is supposed to consider several factors. The factors include:
- Nature of the offense;
- Damage and impact of the juvenile’s conduct on the victim;
- Age, record, and prior services provided to the juvenile;
- Impact of any disposition on the family and physical safety of the juvenile;
- Whether the parent or guardian can reasonably participate in the disposition;
- Physical, psychological, social, and other needs of the child;
- Whether the disposition fosters continued development of the minor;
- Impact of the offense on the community; and
- Threat posed by the juvenile to the safety of the public and himself.
How Much Detention Time May The Court Order?
In accordance with New Jersey Law, a juvenile may be sentenced to up to twenty (20) years for murder, up to four (4) years for any other first degree crime, up to three (3) years for a second degree crime, up to two (2) years for a third degree crime, and up to six (6) months for a fourth degree crime.
Are There Any Restrictions On Who May Be Placed in Youth Detention?
Yes. A child that is eleven (11) or less years of age cannot be incarcerated unless they are convicted of a first degree crime, second degree crime or arson. A juvenile who is developmentally disabled cannot be placed in detention.
Is There A Presumption Against Incarceration That Applies?
Yes. It is presumed that a juvenile shall not be placed in detention if the conviction is for a fourth degree crime or disorderly persons offense and they child has never been previously found guilty of a crime or offense.
Essex County Juvenile Sentencing Attorneys
We are prepared to discuss the circumstances of your child’s case in more detail in a free initial consultation. A lawyer highly skilled in defense of juvenile charges is available immediately to assist you at 973-710-1520.