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Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

As the weather gets warmer, juvenile crimes may start to occur more and more. This is because kids are out of school and may be spending more time outdoors and in groups. Kids make mistakes- this is part of growing and learning. But, some of these mistakes can have serious consequences. Read on to learn more about juvenile crimes in New Jersey and what to do if your child is facing charges.

What are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes?

Juvenile crimes refer to crimes committed by an individual under the age of 18-years-old. The most common juvenile crimes include:

  • Shoplifting/Larceny
  • Simple Assault
  • Drug Abuse Violations
  • Underage Drinking
  • Vandalism

That being said, those under 18 can commit much more serious crimes, including robbery, rape, homicide, and more. In these cases, the child may be treated as an adult, depending on the circumstances.

What Will Happen in my Child is Facing Charges?

Depending on the circumstances, a juvenile case can be handled in one of the following ways:

  • Juvenile Conference Committee or Intake Services Conference: The juvenile and their parents discuss the offense with a trained citizen volunteer panel or a Judiciary staff person. This process is informal and does not determine delinquency. Instead, recommendations are made regarding consequences and given to a judge to be approved.
  • Juvenile referee/Informal court: A hearing takes place in which the juvenile admits or denies the offense. The referee reviews the facts of the case, determines delinquency, and makes recommendations to the judge for approval. The child’s defense can disagree with the findings before they are presented to the judge.
  • Judge/Formal court: A judge oversees a court hearing where the juvenile pleads guilty or not guilty. The court can order a consequence to rehabilitate the child.

What Consequences Can a Juvenile Face in New Jersey?

If a juvenile is found guilty of committing a crime, he or she may face some of the following consequences:

  • Community service
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Release to a parent or guardian
  • Required support services or parental involvement
  • Residential mental health and/or substance abuse and alcohol treatment
  • Restitution
  • Transfer of custody
  • Secure confinement/incarceration
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • Work, outdoor, academic, and/or vocational programs

A mistake your child makes now should not impact them down the line. Our firm will fight for your family and explore all possible avenues of defense. Reach out to speak with a dedicated criminal defense attorney today.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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