Juvenile crime laws in New Jersey are designed to rehabilitate young offenders. For this reason, punishments for these crimes are designed to rehabilitate and reintegrate juveniles into society and are not punitive. No matter what form juvenile delinquency takes, there are clear laws set to address it. Below are the definition of juvenile offenses, criminal cases, and the importance of juvenile representation to protect a child's future.
Juveniles enter the court system if a complaint is brought against them for having committed a delinquency. If law enforcement believes there is probably cause the juvenile is guilty, he or she may be taken into custody. Law enforcement officials may release the juvenile to the parent or guardian if a complaint is not signed. If a complaint is signed before the juvenile is released, he or she may be sent to a secure detention facility while the case is referred to the court system and taken its course.
A juvenile offender, under state law, is described as a child or adolescent under 18 years of age. Delinquency of minors covers crimes such as assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and even murder. The laws also cover petty crimes such as truancy, violating penal statutes, shoplifting, and any other regulation or ordinance set by New Jersey state law.
Juvenile Crime Penalties
Since the interest of the law is focused on rehabilitating juvenile offenders, most juveniles are not formally charged with crimes. Exceptions to this are listed below.
When juveniles commit a criminal offense, they obtain a record just like an adult. However, according to state law, these records should not be available to the public. Contacting a lawyer can ensure juvenile offenses are safe-guarded from public inspection. Records are not 100% sealed because they can be disclosed to the juvenile's school system and the victim's family. If the juvenile commits another crime, the records may be inspected as well.