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Juvenile Offenses in New Jersey

Charges made against juveniles in New Jersey can range from small time such as drug abuse to serious offenses such as murder. A good juvenile lawyer can help defend those under the age of eighteen and settle for charges that are in the minor’s best interest.

In this article, we will review what kind of offenses juveniles can be charged with in New Jersey as well as whether or not you should hire a lawyer to fight a juvenile offense case.

What Kind of Offenses Can Juveniles Be Charged With In New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, juveniles are defined as any persons under the age of eighteen. If a juvenile commits a crime, they are charged with penalties less severe than an adult’s penalties. Most offenses committed by juveniles are not serious and commonly involve drug abuse, minor assault, petty theft, or disorderly conduct.

The courts try to keep the juvenile’s best interest in mind by offering alternatives to jail time such as community service, probation, and rehabilitation programs when appropriate. More serious offenses committed by juveniles such as murder or any other first through fourth degree crimes come with a jail sentence that is often reduced from the typical adult sentence.

If the juvenile has a prior record, they may incur more severe punishments for their crimes since they have had to answer to the consequences of breaking the law previously.

When sentencing for juvenile crimes is considered, there are a lot of factors taken into account including but not limited to the impact of the offense on the community and victims, the juvenile’s home situation, and any psychological, physical, or social issues impacting the juvenile’s life.

Juvenile charges and sentencing are often more carefully considered than adult charges and sentencing; however, there can still be serious consequences for breaking the law regardless of age.

Should I Hire a Lawyer to Fight Juvenile Offenses in New Jersey?

Just because an individual is underage does not mean that there are not expected to uphold the same laws as adults, but sentencing is often more lenient. However, even though the courts should have the juvenile’s best interest at heart, that is not always the case. To ensure that the juvenile in your life receives the best defense, consider hiring a juvenile defense attorney.

Juvenile defense attorneys specialize in cases that involve the prosecution of persons under the age of eighteen. It is important to have good representation for a juvenile charged with a crime so that the best outcome can be provided for the juvenile.

Serious offenses can come with serious consequences including charges that stay on your permanent record. For a juvenile who hasn’t yet begun his or her adult life, this can be damaging. Oftentimes, juvenile criminals simply need guidance and the opportunity to make amends, not jail time.

A juvenile defense lawyer will be able to investigate the details of the case and use law interpretations to fight for the best outcome for their client. In some cases, this could mean complete dismissal of a case, in others, it could mean a reduced sentence.

Either way, it is in your juvenile’s best interest to hire a trained professional to help give him or her the best defense possible.


When it comes to juvenile criminal cases in New Jersey there are many charges that can be leveled against citizens under the age of eighteen from minor to serious. No matter what kind of charges the juvenile in your life is facing, you owe it to them and their future to hire a good defense lawyer to plead their case.

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