Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Discusses Juvenile Weapons Possession
All states throughout the country have their own specific gun control laws that coincide with a set of penalties. Although restrictions differ in each state, it is common to prohibit the purchase of certain types of weapons, as well as forbid them in certain locations. These statutes are expected to be followed regardless of age. As a result, if a juvenile is found carrying a weapon illegally, they can be charged as an adult because criminal statutes apply to both adult and juveniles. However, the juvenile’s offense is usually handled through the juvenile court system where the goal is to counsel and support in an attempt to rehabilitate the youth. For adults facing weapons possession charges, their crime usually leads to penalties such as fines, probation, and incarceration.
In most states the right to bear arms is a protection afforded by the constitution. However, it is common that states generally make it illegal to possess weapons such as explosives, exploding ammunition, and automatic knives. In addition, there are federal laws that restrict the use of certain weapons if the owner does not have the proper license.
The right to carry a weapon also comes with age restrictions. Many states do not allow juveniles to possess weapons that adults are permitted to own. Under New Jersey law, no person under the age of 18 can acquire, possess, carry, or use a firearm. Moreover, some states forbid juveniles ages 16-18 to possess weapons such as BB guns, or an air rifle, whereas in other states it might be legal.
If a juvenile is convicted of a crime involving the possession of a weapon, the court will usually order a consequence aimed at helping the juvenile, rather than punishing them for the offense. Juvenile courts have the ability to impose a wide array of penalties. Sentences that can be enforced for weapons possession by a minor include a warning, community service, probation and possible detention. Diversion is another option that allows juveniles to enter a pre-prosecution diversion program that requires them to spend six months or more in a program specifically designed to rehabilitate the juvenile. When the child successfully completes the program, the charges will then be dropped.
Sometimes a juvenile charged with weapons possession will be charged as adult, depending on the seriousness and nature of the offense. For example, if a child brings a weapon to school intending to cause harm to others they can be charged as an adult, which will lead to adult criminal charges.
Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Is Experienced in Representing Juveniles in NJ Criminal Matters
If your minor child has been charged with a weapons offense, it is important to have representation from a lawyer who understands the juvenile court system. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio are experienced in representing children and teenagers facing all types of crimes. Call our Mount Holly criminal lawyers at 856-888-9059 or contact us online to discuss your options. Our office is located in Moorestown, NJ and we represent clients throughout Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Gloucester County, Cape May County and Salem County.