The last thing you want is for your child to ruin his or her life by accruing a criminal record. Though juvenile court may seem trivial, juvenile charges can affect where your child attends school, his or her collegiate future, and prospective employment. This is especially true if your child is eligible to be tried as an adult.
Most children (defined as being under 18 years old) who are charged with a crime in New Jersey are subject to New Jersey’s juvenile justice system. The crimes can range from vandalism to murder. Youths charged under this system have many of the same rights granted to adults. For instance, they have the right to remain silent, the right of cross-examination and, most importantly, the right to legal counsel.
Perhaps the main difference between the adult and juvenile justice systems is their overall intent. While the adult system is designed to punish, the juvenile system combines the need for punishment with a preference for rehabilitation. The juvenile justice system takes into account the fact that young people are still developing a moral code, and the sentences are intended to help offenders develop more constructive ways of interacting with society.
Accordingly, it is important to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney. Attorney Jordan B. Rickards, is prepared to work on your case and do whatever’s possible to mitigate all consequences through diversionary methods or by fighting the case toward a dismissal.
It is important to realize that unlike adult courts, juvenile courts do not have a jury. The types of sentences handed down are also different. A juvenile may be required to pay a fine or complete a treatment program. He or she may be sentenced to a period of time in juvenile hall or required to serve a period of probation.
Even when a juvenile infraction seems minor, it’s important to enlist the services of a qualified juvenile defense attorney. Your child’s future may depend on having competent legal representation. It’s never advisable to allow a minor child to face a court date on his or her own as the outcome of his or her case can significantly affect his or her path in life. A juvenile defense attorney understands the system and can ensure that your child’s legal rights are protected.
To schedule an initial consultation with criminal defense lawyer Jordan B. Rickards, call 732-297-8200 or email the firm.