Juvenile Offenses

New Jersey Juvenile Defense Attorney

No parent wants to see their child charged with a criminal offense. But kids sometimes make mistakes or errors in judgment, and these mistakes can have legal consequences. While minors do not usually face the same penalties for crimes as adults do, being found guilty of an offense could still have serious effects. In addition to facing a potential detention sentence, fine, or even jail time, a young person could miss out on opportunities to further their education or find meaningful work.

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our New Jersey juvenile crime lawyers have successfully helped countless families navigate the complex criminal justice system. We will treat your case with the blend of skill and sensitivity that you and your child need during this difficult time. Call or reach us online today to get started with a free and confidential consultation. We represent juveniles in Ocean, Hudson, Middlesex, and Union counties, as well as across New Jersey.

How Can We Help Your Child?

Our criminal defense firm has experience helping juveniles in New Jersey facing many different kinds of charges, including:

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Drug crimes

A juvenile caught with a small amount of a drug such as marijuana could face a disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s equivalent of a misdemeanor. But juveniles found with larger amounts of drugs, or with harder drugs in their possession, could face more serious charges.

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Underage drinking

Underage drinking is a serious offense in New Jersey, especially if a juvenile is caught driving while impaired. Potential penalties for an underage drinking charge include the loss of your driver’s license, fines, jail time, and mandatory drug counseling.

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Sexual offenses

Sexual offenses involving juveniles are both complicated and potentially catastrophic for alleged offenders. A juvenile could be charged with a sex crime even if both parties agreed to the act. Sexual assault and similar crimes can also lead to a criminal case against a juvenile. Finally, being convicted of a sex crime as a juvenile could have significant effects on the juvenile’s future, as they may have to register as a sexual offender and have difficulty finding a job later in life.

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In New Jersey, assault runs the gamut from making threats to physically attacking someone. Importantly, assault also includes crimes like online harassment and cyberstalking. Juveniles accused of assault or threats can face harsh penalties, though there are some programs available that can help defendants avoid the worst possible outcome for their case.

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Theft covers a wide range of offenses, from robbery (with or without a weapon) to breaking into a home or business to steal items. Juveniles charged with property crimes could face severe repercussions and potentially have the offense placed on their permanent record.

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In general, shoplifting refers to someone attempting to take an item from a store without paying for it. However, there are other crimes that could lead to a juvenile shoplifting charge, such as altering a price label or not ringing up merchandise correctly. Juveniles generally face less harsh penalties for shoplifting than adults, though stealing a large amount of merchandise could lead to a more serious charge.

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In New Jersey, vandalism is broadly defined as defacing or destroying someone else’s property. It includes acts juveniles sometimes engage in like spraying graffiti on a house or covering it in toilet paper. Depending on the damage done to the property, juveniles accused of vandalism could face stiff penalties.

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Computer crimes

Online harassment, cyberstalking, hacking into secured computer systems, identity theft, and other computer crimes are treated seriously in New Jersey. Juvenile offenders accused of computer crimes should get help from a lawyer immediately to avoid some of the major penalties that come with a conviction.

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Disorderly persons

Disorderly persons offenses generally refer to juveniles acting in a way that puts others at risk. This includes things like making threats and other types of violent behavior. While disorderly persons offenses are considered fairly minor crimes, having a juvenile record, which may be accessed by certain parties, could have an array of negative consequences.

If your child has been accused of a crime that’s not on this list, that doesn’t mean we can’t help. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law for more information on how we fight for the rights of minors.