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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Juveniles Tried As Adults

prison fence barbed wireIf an individual younger than 18 years old (a minor) commits a crime in New Jersey, it is called a “juvenile crime.” The minor may face legal consequences in a New Jersey juvenile court, including the possibility of being tried as an adult.

Although the adult criminal justice system is aimed toward punishment or retribution, the New Jersey juvenile justice system hopes to rehabilitate and treat the juvenile offender. His or her juvenile case is typically heard in family court.

Trial by jury doesn’t happen in the juvenile court system. A family court judge determines if the juvenile individual is guilty of committing a crime. The judge may wish to send the case to the Juvenile Conference Committee or resolve the case by ordering community service, juvenile probation or another measure.

Sometimes, the juvenile will face enhanced penalties for certain crimes. For instance, if he or she is accused of marijuana possession (or another controlled dangerous substance), he or she faces mandatory fines and loss of driving privileges.

In some circumstances, a minor may be tried as an adult.

If the juvenile is accused of committing a serious or violent crime, such as armed robbery or murder, the prosecutor may ask the court to try the accused minor as an adult.

If a juvenile is tried as an adult, he or she faces prosecution and sentencing as an adult. For that reason, the decision to try the juvenile as an adult is a very important one. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be instrumental in ensuring the minor is tried in juvenile court.

An unfortunate misconception is that a person with juvenile convictions has the slate wiped clean when he or she turns 18. That’s not true. If the young person is convicted, as an adult or juvenile, the conviction remains on his or her permanent record—for life—unless the crime is expunged. Some convictions aren’t eligible for expungement.

Unfortunately, a juvenile crime can make it difficult or impossible to get into college or land a good job.

If you have been charged with a juvenile offense, you must retain an experienced defense attorney to successfully navigate the New Jersey juvenile justice system. Don’t answer any questions or accept an interview with investigators or police officers without an attorney present.

Talk To An Experienced Attorney

John W. Tumelty is an experienced criminal defense attorney in southern New Jersey. He has represented juveniles accused of a wide array of crimes, such as drug possession (or distribution), DWI/DUI, assault, theft, and disorderly conduct. We want your child to get a second chance, and we’ll aggressively work to ensure your child doesn’t obtain a lifelong criminal history. Contact Mr. Tumelty for an in-person consultation, available 24/7.  

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The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship.

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