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New Jersey’s Juvenile Offenders May Face More Leniency under New Reforms

NJ lawmakers are currently proposing a series of reforms that would change the way New Jersey’s juvenile offenders can be charged, prosecuted and confined. The measures seek to loosen restrictions and raise the age at which children in New Jersey can be tried as adults. Many parents have felt the pain of seeing their child, who may have committed a crime without fully understanding the consequences of their actions, face adult charges and subsequent prosecution. These measures may help to provide more realistic sentencing guidelines for young offenders who deserve a second chance.

Among the most notable changes is the proposed change to the age at which New Jersey juveniles can legally be tried as adults. Another important part of the proposals calls for delaying transfer of youth offenders to adult incarceration until the age of 18, rather than the current age of 16. The new measures also seek to increase the window of time that judges have to decide if a juvenile should be tried as an adult from 30 to 60 days. New Jersey is a state that has long prided itself on its progressive and forward-thinking attitude, but it still has some rather stiff penalties for juvenile offenders. Currently, juveniles as young as 14 can be charged as adults as and can be placed in solitary confinement for as long as eight hours per day for 10 consecutive days.

Regardless of whether these reforms stick, juvenile defendants still face stiff penalties and require a legal advocate to help them argue for leniency and reduced sentencing. In cases involving the most serious charges, the prosecution will often do everything they can to try children as adults, thus exposing the young defendants to new and more severe penalties. The right attorney may be able to keep this from happening and ensure that your child is charged as a juvenile.

The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC are especially sensitive when it comes to defending juvenile clients. We will make sure your child receives the most favorable outcome to their case. Our legal team serves clients in Bridgewater, Somerville, Bedminster, Hillsborough, Bernard’s Township and throughout New Jersey.

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