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Information relating to juvenile crime in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the courts define a juvenile as an individual who is under the age of 18. When juveniles are accused of committing a criminal act, they are typically tried in a juvenile court. This court focuses on resolving juvenile delinquency cases in such a way that promotes rehabilitation and greater accountability. Moreover, each case is heard and handled on an individual basis.

While complaints against a child are typically filed by police, school officials may file complaints and, in some cases, probation officers may bring matters to the court's attention. Depending on the nature of the offense, accused juveniles may be taken into custody at a juvenile detention center or left in their parents' care. Individuals deemed to pose a potential threat to society or who have a prior criminal record are typically taken into custody.

Juveniles appearing before a judge in a formal court hearing are required by law to have an attorney present. In cases where the minor faces the possibility of being removed from the home, a lawyer must represent the minor. Parents who are unable to pay for an attorney may submit a 5A form to qualify for a court-appointed attorney. All notices to appear in court must be honored, as failure to appear may result in an arrest warrant issued for the juvenile.

Juvenile crime is taken very seriously in New Jersey, and parents of minors accused of a criminal offense may want to keep this in mind. An attorney may help parents in several ways, such as by ensuring that the rights of the child are not violated and by elucidating matters of the law in a way that both the minor and the parents understand. Furthermore, the attorney and family of the minor may work together to choose an appropriate defense or other course of action.

Source: New Jersey Courts, Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings and Your Child ", November 04, 2014

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