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Juvenile arrests can rob New Jersey young adults of opportunity

Preparing to go to college is an exciting endeavor for many teens in New Jersey. Many students will spend hours meticulously filling out their college applications after touring campuses and deciding where they would like to spend the next four years of their life. Unfortunately, some students may feel completely defeated when they have to check yes next to the little box that asks if the student has ever been arrested.

Often, it is a student that was arrested for a small infraction that has to say that they were arrested without an opportunity for proper explanation. Most juveniles that are arrested at school are arrested for disorderly conduct, which casts a wide net around offenses that are not criminal acts. There are instances in which students have been arrested for causing a disruption by yelling in class, which is hardly something that should plague an individual into their future.

Most juveniles that are arrested at school are arrested for "bad behavior, not criminal behavior." Unfortunately, these happenings and any subsequent charges can have consequences that the juvenile does not anticipate. It does not seem fair that a high school senior that may be an outstanding student and well behaved teen is disadvantaged because of a minor offense caused when they were 13 years old.

This is why it is crucial to defend against all juvenile charges. Even charges that might not seem like a big deal at this time could present problems down the line in New Jersey and elsewhere. Lots of good kids make poor choices. An isolated poor choice should not be the reason for depriving a student from realizing their full potential.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Thousands of students arrests alarm Florida justice leaders," Leslie Postal and Lauren Roth, Feb. 10, 2013

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