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Haddonfield Criminal Lawyer: Charging Juveniles as Adults

October 11, 2016

Haddonfield Criminal Lawyer: Charging Juveniles as Adults

A recent murder is renewing the debate over the ability of prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults. On October 3, 2015, an 11 year-old boy shot and killed an eight year-old White Pine, Tennessee girl after she allegedly refused his request to play with her puppy. The District Attorney in Jefferson County, Tennessee is yet to announce whether the child – who obtained the weapon from an unlocked closet in his home – will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile. For now, he remains housed in a juvenile detention center as he awaits a hearing on charges of first-degree murder.

The laws surrounding the availability of adult charges for juveniles are ever-changing. Typically, if a juvenile is under the age of 14 and charged with a misdemeanor or other lesser crime, his or her case will proceed through the juvenile justice system. Juveniles over the age of 14, juveniles charged with first or second-degree crimes, and juveniles with a lengthy criminal record can be tried as adults at the discretion of a prosecutor.

In the 2012 case of State in the Interest of V.A. (A-9/19/20) (068707), however, a divided Supreme Court of New Jersey made it harder than ever to charge a juvenile as an adult. Not only does the ruling clear a path for juveniles to challenge their transfer to adult court from the Superior Court’s Family Division – where juvenile offenders are originally referred – but the Supreme Court of New Jersey went one step further, establishing a new, heightened standard for prosecutors to meet when charging juveniles as adults. According to Haddonfield criminal lawyers, pursuant to State in the Interest of V.A. prosecutors must now demonstrate that trying a juvenile offender as an adult will prevent him or her from re-offending, as well as deter other juveniles from behaving similarly.

Haddonfield Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Represents Juveniles Charged as Adults in NJ

Courts and legislators have become increasingly skeptical of the practice of prosecutors charging juveniles as adults, and for good reason. Juveniles inserted into the adult prison system are at an increased risk of suicide, are more likely to be sexually abused than adult inmates and are more likely to re-offend upon their release. If you or a loved one is a juvenile who has been charged as an adult, contact Haddonfield criminal lawyer, Michele Finizio. She understands all aspects of the criminal justice system and fights for the rights of juveniles. Attorney Finizio proudly represents clients throughout the state, including the communities of Cherry Hill, Westmont, Mount Holly and throughout Haddonfield. Call 856-888-9059 or contact us online today.

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“First class representation. Michele was my son’s attorney after he made a slight but bad decision that hurt no one, but one that potentially could have a caused a lifetime of employment problems in the future, despite having a four year college degree. First of all Michele was very proactive in protecting his rights. Rights we were not even aware of. She provided quick and reliable answers to our questions. Before we met with her our anxiety and worry was insatiable. The peace we felt after our first consultation alleviated all that and we knew we picked the right attorney. Her excellent negotiation skills resulted in a settling his case quickly and without conviction.

We owe a debt of gratitude for her service. I was shocked at how much she was able to do for my son. She is a solid lawyer who is honest and works to insure the best possible outcome for her client is achieved.”
- Former Client

“Michele was very prompt when getting back to me when I called regarding legal counsel. Michele kept me informed and in the loop while awaiting trial. Very professional qualities and I highly recommend Michele and will continue to seek her legal expertise in the future. Thanks.”
- Former Client

“I could not had ask for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my case and the case of those I’ve recommended as if we were part of her family. She gave it all she had, made her voice and case be heard in court and made it count, and we had the best possible outcome, thanks to her experience and expertise. Thank you very much for an outstanding job.”
- D.A.

"Michele is an outstanding, no “beating around the bush” lawyer. She has done a remarkable job as a lawyer for me. Before Michele, I did not get along with Criminal Lawyers – she comes HIGHLY recommended by me to anyone who needs a Criminal Lawyer."
- C.O.
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