FAQ About the Moving Through the Juvenile Justice Process in New Jersey

If you or your child are facing criminal charges, you are likely feeling extremely overwhelmed and unsure where to turn next. Fortunately, our experienced team of legal professionals can help answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the juvenile justice system, such as those listed below:

FAQ #1: What is a ‘delinquency complaint’?

The delinquency complaint is the document that essentially jump starts the juvenile justice process. If an officer has probable cause to believe a minor has committed a delinquent act, the case can turn one of several ways. Sometimes, the juvenile is released back into the custody of a parent or guardian – with reprimand or without. However, if the officer signs a delinquency complaint, the juvenile may then be held in a secure detention facility in the interim while the case progresses.

FAQ #2: Does every child wind up in a secure detention facility?

No. New Jersey law only allows for detention in a secure facility if either the child is considered a danger to the community or is unlikely to return for trial. Otherwise, the juvenile may be permitted to return home to await their next court date.

FAQ #3: Are there any services available to assist families going through this process?

New Jersey currently offers Juvenile Family Court Intervention Units to help families regain stability in these difficult times. These Units are generally reserved for delinquencies that involve family issues, such as truancy, runaways and/or serious conflict between the members of the household.

FAQ #4: What is a court diversion program?

Court diversion programs are available for children who have committed relatively minor first or second offenses. The process involves committee oversight and review of the delinquency complaint, with certain committees dedicated to more serious infractions. In the end, the committee may recommend certain tasks and conditions for the juvenile to complete in order to avoid having to go through the formal process.

Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney today!

At Sitzler Law we represent both parents and children who are facing criminal charges in New Jersey. To discuss your criminal law issues, please do not hesitate to call today: 609-267-1101.