Juvenile Weapon Charges
Parents of teenagers respond differently to a phone call that there child has been detained for a weapon offense or needs to be picked up at the police station in conjunction with the charge. It is common for thoughts to immediately turn to the fear and concern, especially when a law enforcement officer discloses that the juvenile has been accused of possession of a handgun, other variety of firearm, knife or other weapon. The first few hours following that phone can often be crucial to preservation of evidence and other steps to protect your son or daughter; the quicker you have an experienced juvenile defense attorney to assist you in this mission, the more likely your child is to have a positive outcome to his or her weapon charge. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers have been helping parents and juveniles for many years with a proven track record of success. We have over a century of experience defending cases at the Superior Court in Trenton and a lawyer on our staff are ready to fight zealously on behalf of your child. This is of paramount importance given how serious weapon offenses are taken by the Juvenile Unit of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. To speak to one of our attorneys in a free consultation, call us a 609–683–8102.Juvenile Weapons Offense in Trenton New Jersey
A long list of items can fall within the definition of a weapon since just about anything that is capable causing bodily injury to another person. Handguns, rifles and other firearms are obviously so deadly that their status is of question. However, New Jersey law goes far beyond these objects when you are talking about weapons, for example, a BB gun, paintball gun or airsoft gun also qualify. Since the state of New Jersey does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to possess a firearm (and anyone under the age of 21 to possess a handgun), a juvenile faces serious criminal charges anytime they possess such an item. Other objects that cannot be possessed lawfully include brass knuckles, a stun gun, switchblade, slingshot or anything else capable of causing physical damage or inflicting bodily injury.
The severity of the charges against your child is contingent upon the specific weapon, the location of the offense, and the nature of the crime. Your child may have been charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Possession of Prohibited Weapons and Devices, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, or Unlawful Possession of BB Guns, Airsoft Guns and/or Pellet Guns.
Barring any extenuating circumstances of a particularly heinous crime, your child’s case will be resolved in the New Jersey juvenile justice system, and heard by a judge rather than a jury in Trenton. The legal standards governing juvenile cases centers around the best interests of the juvenile, meaning the penalties are meant to be rehabilitative rather than punitive. If your child is found guilty of the offense, he or she is not “convicted,” rather will be “adjudicated delinquent.” The sentencing involved could involve probation, detention, community service, fines, social rehabilitation programs, or even requiring the juvenile to wear a monitoring device which tracks his or her location.
In terms of confinement, commonly referred to as juvenile detention, the permissible term hinges on the grade of crime. A first degree crime involving a weapon can result in up to four years. The maximum term of detention is three years for a second degree crime of this nature, for example, possession of an illegal handgun. A third degree crime carries up to two years of incarceration, including possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes. A period of up to one year may be imposed for possession of an illegal weapon or another fourth degree crime.Hamilton NJ Juvenile Weapon Defense Lawyer
If your child is being charged with a weapons violation, speaking to an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer like those at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall should be the very first thing you do. A highly qualified attorney is capable of taking all of the steps that are necessary to make sure your child’s rights are fully protected. This is not a time when you can simply hope for the best. You must be proactive to preserve your child’s future and hiring attorneys who are knowledgeable in defending juvenile weapon charges in Trenton is precisely what you need. The lawyers at our firm possess this level of expertise. For immediate assistance from a member of our defense team, contact our office.