Juvenile Assault Offense
If your child has been charged with an assault offense, including simple assault or aggravated assault, you must now make a decision that can truly alter his or her future. You may not know who to turn to, or what to do. It is at this critical juncture that a call to a highly experienced juvenile attorney can truly make a difference in the outcome of your child’s charge. Representation by someone who knows their way around the court system and what is necessary to effectively defend an assault charge is your best option for thoroughly protecting your son or daughter.
The more you know and understand about the juvenile justice system in the state of New Jersey, the better able you will be to not only choose the right lawyer, but help guide your child through this difficult time. Our firm the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has a team of skilled lawyers that have over a century of experience, including time serving as prosecutors, to put to work for you. We have also defended many juvenile cases, including those involving some variety of assault or threat offense, at the Family Division of the Mercer County Superior Court. Contact our Lawrence Office at 609–683–8102 for a free consultation.Juvenile Assault Charges in Trenton New Jersey
One of the most common classes of juvenile offense heard at the Family Division in Trenton is assault related charges. There are a wide variety of violations that fall within this category and, although the elements of proof are exactly the same as in adult cases, the range of penalties at the time of conviction are different for a juvenile. The headings below discuss some of the more important details of juvenile assault charges.
- Simple Assault. Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense that is triggered when someone attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
- Aggravated Assault. Aggravated assault can come in the form of a second degree crime, third degree crime or fourth degree crime. The most common variety of aggravated assault is a third degree crime resulting from an assault on a school teacher, coach, police officer or other official. A more serious form of aggravated assault that frequently arises in Trenton is second degree aggravated assault. This results where serious bodily injury or significant bodily injury arises in a physical encounter. For additional details about aggravated assault click here.
- Terroristic Threat. A terroristic threat offense is typically a third degree crime that arises when someone “threatens to kill another with the purpose to put him in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out.”
It is important to remember that your child enters the juvenile justice system once a complaint is signed. Your child may have been taken into custody by a law enforcement officer if there is reason to believe he or she committed an assault. The officer could also divert your child’s case by releasing him or her into your custody (with or without a reprimand and/or warning). The officer may also choose to hold your child in a secure detention facility, referring the case to court intake service to request admission into detention.
New Jersey law mandates that your child can be detained in a locked juvenile facility prior to the disposition of his or her case, only if he or she is considered a danger to the community, or if it is likely he or she won’t appear for his or her court date. If your child is to be held in a detention facility, an initial detention hearing must occur within 24 hours of his or her admission. Your attorney will explain the charges against your child to you, and at the detention hearing, the Court will decide whether to release or continue to detain your child.
Similar to a “sentence” in adult court, a child who has been adjudged a juvenile delinquent may be sentenced to a period of juvenile detention and subjected to other consequences. The range of penalties that may be imposed in a juvenile case in Trenton include:
- A Deferred disposition;
- Community service;
- Suspension of driver’s license;
- Release to parents;
- Electronic monitoring;
- A residential program;
- Juvenile detention of up to 3 years for a second degree crime, up to 2 years for a third degree crime, up to 1 year for a first degree crime and up to 6 months for a disorderly persons offense; or
- Outdoor, academic and/or vocational programs.
The most common disposition in Juvenile Court is supervised probation, along with other requirements such as community service or paying fines or restitution. A period of juvenile detention is also involved in more serious assault cases. As you can imagine, being placed behind bars can be traumatizing for your child. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will work diligently to make certain that such an outcome does not occur. A juvenile assault lawyer at the firm is ready to put all of the resources of our firm into action on your behalf. Contact our Hamilton Office at 609–683–8102 to speak to an attorney on our defense team now.