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1. Should I bother to hire a lawyer for my child if the matter is only going to Juvenile Court and not criminal court?

YES! Even if the case is handled in Family Court (Juvenile Court), the consequences for your child can still be severe and can include house arrest or even incarceration in a juvenile detention facility (jail).

2. If my child is convicted in Juvenile Court, will he/she have a criminal record?

NO! If your child is an "adjudicated delinquent" in Family Court, that adjudication is not a criminal conviction under New Jersey law.

3. Is my child entitled to a jury trial in Juvenile Court?

NO! All matters in Family Court involving juveniles who have been charged with a criminal offense are heard by a judge only. The judge alone hears evidence presented and determines if the charges have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

4. Is my child entitled to bail if he/she is alleged to have committed a criminal offense and is arrested?

NO! In the juvenile justice system there is no provision for bail. A Family Court judge will determine if the charged juvenile may be released to his/her parent(s) or guardian and under what conditions, such as electronic monitoring. Or they judge can decide that, based upon the seriousness of the offense charged and any prior problems, the juvenile will be held in a juvenile detention facility until the hearing.

5. Even though my child is less than 18 years old, someone told me that he/she could be prosecuted in criminal court.  Is that true?

YES! It is possible for a Family Court judge, under certain circumstances in the case of serious criminal offenses such as murder and aggravated assault, to transfer the prosecution of an alleged juvenile offender from Family Court to adult criminal court.


Managing Partner Ron Helmer discusses how we defend juveniles throughout the state and have the experience to help young people who have been charged with serious crimes. 

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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