What should I know about being charged with a crime as a minor?

As unfortunate as it is, a child under the age of 18 may make a poor decision that can result in their arrest. Juvenile offenses should not be taken lightly because of the serious impact they can have on the child’s future for years down the road. Criminal convictions can have an impact on your employment opportunities, obtaining a loan, and finding housing.

One concern that many people have when they are facing a juvenile crime charge is whether they will be charged as an adult if they turn 18 at some point throughout the course of the case. However, this is simply not true. If you turn 18 during the time in which the proceedings are occurring, you will still be charged as a juvenile as long as the crime took place prior to your 18th birthday. However, some of the more serious juvenile offenses may actually cause the child to be tried in court as an adult.

If the crime is considered less severe than other crimes, it may be handled in the Juvenile Conference Committee, instead of in the Superior Court’s Family Division. It is important that if you have been charged with a crime as a juvenile, you have strong legal representation that can help you work towards securing your future. In New Jersey, all juveniles charged with a crime are required by law to have legal representation. If you can not afford one, the parent or guardian of the child may submit an application for a public defender but it will likely be denied if both parents are employed.

If you have questions about being charged with a crime as a juvenile, contact our experienced attorneys today.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.