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Juvenile Crimes Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

Juvenile crimes involve any offense – including robbery, murder, DUI arrests, drug possession, graffiti, rape, sexual assault, and theft – committed by a person below 18 years of age. In New Jersey, the juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction over criminal cases involving juveniles. Nonetheless, a juvenile may still be tried as an adult depending on the surrounding circumstances.

If your child has been arrested and charged with a juvenile crime, hiring a highly-skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney is crucial to help build their defense strategy. At William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC, Attorney William Quirk has the diligence, resources, and expertise to represent and defend children below 18 years and their custodians in juvenile crime cases.

As your legal counsel, he can review all of the facts of your child's case, conduct a thorough investigation, and strategize an effective defense in pursuit of the most favorable outcome for their unique situation. Attorney William Quirk will fight diligently to protect your child's legal rights and make sure those allegations don't ruin their life or future.

William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC proudly represents children and their parents throughout Hackensack, New Jersey, and the surrounding Clifton, Paterson, and West New York areas.

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Delinquency Under New Jersey Law

According to New Jersey law – New Jersey Code Section 2A:4A-23 – "delinquency" can be described as the commission of an act by a juvenile that if committed by an adult, would constitute:

  • A crime

  • A disorderly person offense or petty disorderly person offense, or

  • A violation of any other penal statute, ordinance, or regulation.

For the purpose of the New Jersey juvenile code, a juvenile is a child below 18 years of age at the time of the alleged offense.

Examples of Juvenile Crimes

In the state of New Jersey, juveniles could be adjudicated delinquent for any of the following:

  • Drug offenses

  • Violations of probation

  • Property crimes

  • Weapons crimes

  • Public order violations

  • Crimes against persons

  • Other offenses

As mentioned earlier, the New Jersey juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction to prosecute any crime committed by a juvenile. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you understand the juvenile justice process in New Jersey and craft your child's best defenses.

How the Process Works

Here's how the juvenile justice process works in New Jersey:

Arrest: Once a juvenile crime is reported or a complaint is filed, the alleged juvenile will be taken into custody. Upon signing a delinquency complaint, the officer may release the child to a responsible parent or guardian while the case is referred to the family court.

Juvenile/Family Crisis Intervention Units (JFCIUs): JFCIUs are usually used for case diversion. The JFCIU will intervene, provide temporary assistance to help stabilize the family situation and refer the juvenile and their family to community agencies that can assist.

Court Diversion: The Juvenile Conference Committees (JCCs) and Intake Service Conferences (ISCs) will review the delinquency complaint or allegations once they have been signed and filed with the family court.

Family Courts Hearings: When the juvenile is detained, a hearing must be conducted within 24-hours. Hearings for juvenile delinquents are often held in the family court. Some dispositions (sentences) available to the Family Court include:

  • Adjourned disposition

  • Probation for up to three years

  • Release the juvenile to their parent or guardian, with or without conditions

  • Payment of restitution to the victim

  • Counseling

  • Driver's license suspension

  • Diversion program

  • Secure confinement/incarceration

  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment

  • Academic or vocational programs

  • Community service

  • Custody transfer

A skilled juvenile defense lawyer can help your child understand the potential penalties and consequences of their juvenile case and determine whether they can be tried as an adult.

When a Juvenile Can Be Tried As An Adult

In New Jersey, minors as young as 15 years old can be tried as an adult. The following factors will be considered to determine whether or not to waive a juvenile case to adult court:

  • The juvenile's age and maturity.

  • The nature and circumstances of the offense charged.

  • Whether the crime was against a person or property

  • The degree of the juvenile's culpability.

  • The mental capacity or cognitive development of the juvenile.

  • The moral development of the juvenile.

  • Any prior history of juvenile delinquency.

  • Any evidence of substance abuse, mental health concerns, or emotional instability.

  • Any prior involvement with child welfare agencies

  • The juvenile's previous response to rehabilitation or ability to respond to rehabilitation.

  • The juvenile's potential danger to the general public.

  • The ability of the juvenile court to impose a fitting punishment.

Waiving a juvenile case to adult court may possibly expose the child to similar penalties as adult defendants who commit such crimes. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand their charges and determine your parental liability.

Parent's Liability

Parental responsibility laws in New Jersey and across the United States hold parents responsible for certain acts of their minor children. Under New Jersey Code Section 2A:53A-16, "the parents of any minor who shall maliciously or willfully injure any property of a railroad, street railway, traction railway or autobus public utility shall be liable for damages in the amount of the injury to a limit of $5,000."

What's more, according to New Jersey Code Section 2A:53A-15, "a parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of an infant under 18 years of age who fails or neglects to exercise reasonable supervision and control of the conduct of such infant, shall be liable in a civil action for any willful, malicious or unlawful injury or destruction by such infant of the real or personal property of another."

Work With a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing juvenile crime allegations can be terrifying for even an adult, not to mention a child. Unfortunately, a juvenile crime conviction could possibly jeopardize a child's liberty, quality of life, academics, scholarship, housing, employment, and other future opportunities. Therefore, when your child is facing juvenile crime charges, it is paramount that you hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who understands the juvenile court system to help defend their legal rights.

Attorney William Quirk is committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to children facing juvenile crime charges. Using his in-depth legal understanding, Attorney William Quirk will help them navigate the New Jersey juvenile justice system. Having him on your side can improve their chances of the best available outcome for their case.

Juvenile Crimes Attorney Serving Hackensack, New Jersey

If your child or ward has been charged with a juvenile crime, you need to act quickly and protect their future. Contact William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Attorney William Quirk can fight aggressively to protect your child's rights and offer them the needed reliable representation in their juvenile case. The firm proudly represents clients in Hackensack, New Jersey, and the surrounding Clifton, Paterson, and West New York areas.