Juvenile Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in New Jersey
Dedicated Middlesex County Attorneys Handling Juvenile Domestic Violence Charges
Under New Jersey law, a person is considered a juvenile until they reach 18 years of age. Unfortunately, being underage doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t commit crimes usually associated with adults. One such offense for which juveniles are charged more often than expected is domestic violence. While domestic violence charges involving teens sometimes involve intimate partnerships, it is as often a case of a young person acting violently towards their parent, older sibling, or another family or household member. When a juvenile gets into trouble with the law, their case is handled differently from that of an adult who has been charged with the same offense. If your child has been charged with a juvenile domestic violence offense in New Jersey, contact a member of our team today for a free consultation to learn how we can help mitigate the potential consequences of the charge and get your teen back on the right track. Experience top-tier defense with our New Jersey team of attorneys providing solid representation against juvenile domestic violence charges. Our firm is ready to defend in juvenile proceedings or adult court in Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Hudson, Union, Bergen, or another county. For inquiries about any criminal charge against a juvenile accused of domestic abuse, get a free consultation with a lawyer at The Tormey Law Firm. Contact us at (908)-336-5008 or complete the form on our website.
Insights Into Juvenile Domestic Violence Cases in NJ
Early Warning Signs of Potential Violence in Juveniles
Certain behaviors can provide warning signs of developing violent tendencies in a juvenile. They include frequent hot tempers, repeated risky behavior, physical aggression, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, vandalism, and other troubling signs.
Steps in the NJ Legal Process for Juveniles Charged with Domestic Violence Offenses
The juvenile legal process is different from adult criminal court in that it takes place in family court instead of as part of the criminal justice system. Youths charged with a juvenile offense undergo three steps in the legal process of determining their guilt or innocence and ultimately their sentence. First, a detention hearing will determine whether the youth will be released to their family or will be held in a detention facility until adjudication. As one could imagine, such a decision depends strongly on whether a family or household member was the victim of the alleged domestic violence. A skilled juvenile defense attorney can help the youth get the best outcome pre-trial by proving that they are not a threat to society and can be safely released with only supervision.
The second stage of the juvenile domestic violence legal process is the determination of whether the youth will be tried in a juvenile or adult court. This decision is very important because adults are judged much more harshly in felony domestic violence trials than juveniles. The stage of an adult criminal trial, tried by a jury instead of one family court judge, also changes the scope and potential outcome of the legal process. If the juvenile’s case remains in Family Court, the actual adjudication is the hearing in which the juvenile family court judge hears evidence and determines the guilt or innocence of the individual as well as their sentence.
Distinction Between Juvenile and Adult Domestic Violence Offenses
New Jersey Statute Section N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19 recognizes and defines certain charges alongside which domestic violence has occurred; domestic violence is not charged as a separate crime in these cases. Such ‘partner crimes’ for which the statute provides include assault, criminal restraint, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, stalking, homicide, and others. However, the law specifically notes that it is solely applicable for domestic violence offenders who are adults or emancipated minors – not juveniles. As such, juveniles are not considered domestic violence offenders in the same way as adults. However, they are absolutely subject to juvenile domestic violence charges.
Potential Alternatives for Juveniles Engaged in Domestic Violence Cases
Juveniles generally have more options for reduced sentencing than adults when it comes to domestic violence charges. Potential legal consequences include supervised probation, mandatory participation in a treatment program, or detention in a juvenile facility.
Unavailability of Restraining Orders for Juvenile Domestic Violence
New Jersey law does not allow an adult or another minor to file a domestic violence restraining order against an unemancipated minor. As such, while there are other legal steps to take if a minor has engaged in domestic violence, a restraining order is not one of them.
Rely on Our Attorneys to Defend Your Juvenile Domestic Violence Case in Jersey City NJ
If your child has been charged with juvenile domestic violence, the support of a juvenile criminal defense attorney is an absolute necessity. There are so many precarious steps along the juvenile’s legal journey that, if mishandled, could result in the juvenile being tried as an adult and their potential sentencing involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and even decades in prison. With a matter as serious as domestic violence, you just can’t take chances for the best defense that affords your teen a chance at a positive future, unmarred by a criminal record and debilitating sentencing. At The Tormey Law Firm, we have advocated for juveniles charged with domestic abuse in Paramus, North Bergen, Montville, Parsippany, Woodbridge, Middletown, and many other NJ towns for years, and we look forward to getting to work for your family. Contact us today at (908)-336-5008 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your child’s case.