“Juvenile” in New Jersey means anyone under the age of eighteen (18) years old. Juvenile proceedings are governed by the New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice. Juvenile proceedings are defined by New Jersey Statute N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-20 to N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-92 which took effect on December 31, 1983. Under the New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice, judicial proceedings relating to charges against juveniles are handled in a special court, using different rules.
Juvenile criminal offenses are prosecuting in Superior Court in the Family Division. This includes both disorderly person and indictable offenses. However, some offenses are so egregious that the juvenile offender may be "waived up" to criminal court where he/she would be prosecuted as an adult. New Jersey has a goal of rehabilitation. Therefore, there are many diversionary programs available to juvenile offenders. Having knowledge and understanding of the available services, as well as, the process enables Ms. Pallitto to defend her clients to the fullest extent. As a former Juvenile Prosecutor, Ms. Pallitto has a clear understanding of both sides of the law.
Just like adult offenders, the State can move to detain juvenile offenders as well. Juveniles are held in a separate facility than adult offenders, however the experience can be frightening nonetheless. By presenting the State with information regarding an offender's ties to the community, an argument for release can be made towards release. Release may include reporting and/or wearing of a monitoring device.
Violent crimes have a great range with regard to penalties. An individual can be charged with Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Manslaughter, Aggravated Manslaughter and/or Murder. For egregious violent crimes, the State will likely motion for the matter to be handled in adult court. This is especially true if there are other co-defendants who are adults. If successful in its motion, the juvenile offender would be prosecuting as an adult and not a juvenile delinquent.
This has immense impact on the exposure and potential sentence which can be imposed. For example, as an adult offender certain violent offenses are subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA). This statute was passed by the legislature to raise the term of incarceration one must serve for certain violent offenses. In many cases individuals will have to serve 85% of their prison term before being released if it is a second or first degree crime of violence.
Sadly, the addiction rate in the United States has risen to an all-time high. In New Jersey, the opioid epidemic is real and running rapid through high schools. Certain drug offenses will allow a juvenile to serve out their sentence on probation or in a drug treatment facility. This may include what is commonly referred to as Drug Court, a program designed to help drug addicts deal with their addiction positively rather than in confinement. However, certain drug offenses can subject even juveniles to confinement terms based on prior criminal history. This requires a more aggressive approach to minimize the potential penalties. Whatever the case may be, in crisis it is important to have an effective advocate who can construct positive solutions for clients. This has been the hallmark of Pallitto Law's reputation in the legal community.
New Jersey is one of the strictest states in the county with regard to firearms. Even juveniles charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose may be subject to severe penalties ranging from probation to confinement. There is also always the possibility that the State may file a motion to waive the juvenile up to adult court to be prosecuted. In adult court, the juvenile would now be subject to the Grave's Act which sets certain mandatory minimum prison terms that must be served before an individual is released on parole. As a former prosecutor, Georgina G. Pallitto knows the ins and outs of law enforcement tactics in the prosecution of firearms offenses. This provides Pallitto Law with an edge in deconstructing cases so that clients receive the best possible outcome.
Other Juvenile Offenses
Burglary and Theft
Violations of Probation