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Juvenile Offenses and Family Court In NJ

January 30, 2018


Juvenile criminal matters are usually handled in Family Court where the ultimate goal is rehabilitation of the offender. Sentences are usually much lighter than in adult court, and judges try to avoid incarceration where possible. Prosecutors can petition to have a juvenile’s case moved to the Superior court when serious crimes have been committed like armed robbery, aggravated assault, DUI or murder. In these cases, the juvenile is treated as an adult. Outcomes can be life-altering, so it’s important to have an expert criminal defense attorney on your side.

New Jersey’s highest court ruled earlier this year that judges should be cautious of sentencing juveniles to long prison terms that can drastically reduce the offender’s opportunity at rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The court’s ruling referenced a case of two juveniles who were sent to lengthy prison sentences. State lawmakers agreed with the court’s decision in this case and passed legislation that prevents life without parole for juveniles. The case was escalated to the United States Supreme Court. On October 2, 2017 the Supreme Court declined to take up the case, which leaves the New Jersey court’s ruling in place. Mandatory life sentences without parole can no longer be pursued by prosecutors in juvenile cases. While this is a big step forward for those advocating for juvenile rights, a defense attorney should always be contacted to protect your child’s rights.

In New Jersey, juvenile matters are often heard in Family Court. Serious offenses, however, are often moved to the Superior court where penalties are much more severe. If your child has been arrested, then it’s wise to seek out an experienced juvenile defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your child’s rights, advise you on your best options moving forward and advocate for your child in either Family Court or Criminal Court. New Jersey lawyer Michele Finizio specializes in both juvenile criminal offenses and expunging juvenile records. The Law Office of Michele Finizio can be reached at 856-888-9059 or via our online contact form.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Reviews Matter

“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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