In case your son or daughter’s recently been cutting class, been detained, or been the cause of a complaint called in by a concerned party, you may as a guardian wish to learn about the juvenile legal structure. Even though no one is very happy to find out their own child has been busted, the best way a couple can support their child is to understand as much as is possible about how to prepare. Here is a short explanation of the different hearings of the juvenile offender structure.
The initial hearing is termed a plea or jurisdictional process. This is when a basic plea of guilty or not guilty is expressed by either the minor in question, parents or a lawyer. Your child’s lawyer could make recommendations on your son or daughter’s behalf. While mental or substance abuse assessments can be deemed necessary, very rarely is a major, long-term, definitive judgment of any kind established at this form of hearing. Following this will be the pre-trial discussion, the point at which the attorney, parents or guardians, and judge meet to attempt to come to a solution that might prevent the next step: a trial.
If this conference has failed in its goal, there will most likely be a trial. This often features (recorded and verbal) recommendations and accounts from many sources, yourself included. School personnel, psychiatrists, social workers and other people related to the case can offer their suggestions. The facts of the case will be read by the judge, who will then deliver his verdict (the disposition) focused on your son or daughter’s case. This could include things like whether or not your son or daughter is in need of protection, the facts and periods guiding any supervised (probation) periods, if placement away from home might be required, and if any penalties decided upon applied.
If your child has been accused of a crime, contact an experienced New Jersey criminal lawyer for advice. A knowledgeable NJ defense attorney can be a great resource to your family during this difficult time, and work hard to defend your child’s rights.