In New Jersey, we are seeing more and more students charged with criminal offenses for alleged threats of violence. Sometimes, these incidents happen because of a post on social media. In other situations, a child says something to another student or writes something on a wall or in a notebook that others find. In a recent case in Piscataway, New Jersey, a 13-year-old middle school student was charged with terroristic threats and other offenses after allegedly writing a threat in graffiti on a bathroom wall.
Understanding what happens when a child is accused of making a threat at school is extremely important for parents in New Jersey. At William Proetta Criminal Law, our criminal defense attorneys fight to protect the rights of juveniles accused of crimes in Piscataway, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, and throughout the Middlesex County area. If your child has been charged with a crime or is under investigation, contact our office in Edison at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation. And continue reading to learn more about criminal charges for school threats in New Jersey.
The aforementioned case occurred at Theodore Schor Middle School in Piscataway, NJ. A student at the school, whose identity remains undisclosed due to their status as a juvenile, was taken into custody after making an alleged threat on school property. Authorities say the student wrote a threat in graffiti on a wall in one of the school’s bathrooms.
With regard to incidents like this one, Piscataway Police Chief Scott Cartmell said, “Any direct or indirect threat made, especially within the school community will be vigorously and thoroughly investigated by the police department as to the credibility and potential source. We will not hesitate to act.”
The student in this case was charged with terroristic threats, criminal mischief, creating a false public alarm, and hindering apprehension. After processing, the juvenile was released to a parent. Since the defendant is under the legal age of adulthood in New Jersey (18), their case will be adjudicated in the Middlesex County Superior Court, Family Division. Due to the seriousness of these charges, the student may face time in a juvenile detention center.
Under New Jersey law, terroristic threats is a third degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3. Creating a false public alarm is also a third degree crime governed by New Jersey Statute 2C:33-3. Since both charges are indictable crimes of the third degree, an adult convicted of either offense may be sentenced to up to 5 years’ imprisonment. However, the sentencing guidelines for juveniles in New Jersey are very different.
When a juvenile is charged with a third degree crime in New Jersey, they face up to 2 years in juvenile detention. It is important to note that the justice system for juveniles is highly distinct, prioritizing the best interests of the child above all else. Essentially, this means that a juvenile judge has more discretion when imposing a sentence for a minor who is adjudicated delinquent in New Jersey. Nevertheless, allegations involving threats of violence or the use of weapons at school are taken very seriously, even if the defendant is not yet a legal adult.
Piscataway Student Threats Lawyers Serving Middlesex County, New Jersey
If your child has been charged with a making threats, criminal mischief, creating a false public alarm, or another criminal offense in New Jersey, your next step should be to contact an experienced attorney. Protecting your child’s innocence and their future is our lawyers’ paramount concern. Contact The Law Firm of William Proetta Criminal Law in Edison, New Jersey for an absolutely free consultation with a juvenile defense lawyer who can help. You can reach us at (732) 659-9600 and phones are answered 24/7.