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“Thanks Tara for always believing in me and making me feel like I was your only client. You made the impossible possible. Forever grateful.”

- Gabriel V.

Deferred Disposition

New Jersey juvenile proceedings have a kinder, gentler procedure and glossary: Juveniles are “taken into custody” rather than arrested and they are “adjudicated delinquent” rather than convicted.

If a an underage person commits a juvenile crime and is taken into custody on a first offense, a judge may have sympathy for the accused, and order a “deferred disposition” - as long as certain conditions are complied with: don’t get caught drinking again, or smoking, or possessing less than 60 grams of marijuana, or trespassing.

In essence, a deferred disposition is a second chance designed to let a juvenile make right on a crime, without going to court and facing the possibility of being “adjudicated delinquent” and paying fines, going to jail and having a criminal record.

If the juvenile complies with all the judge’s orders - which might include regular visits to a probation officer - then after a period of time that is usually one year, the charges are dropped and the whole matter stricken from the records.

If you are the guardian of a juvenile who has been “taken into custody” and this is a first offense, contact Monmouth County juvenile justice attorney Tara Breslow-Testa. Born, bred and educated (JD Rutgers) in New Jersey, Tara Breslow-Testa has experience on both sides of the bench and both sides of the aisle: Clerking for the Honorable Donald J. Volkert, Jr., serving as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender in Union County and then trial court in Monmouth County.

Now in private practice, Tara Breslow-Testa has wide experience with the New Jersey juvenile justice system. She understands the philosophy of the New Jersey courts: forgive, make peace and rehabilitate where possible, protect and punish where necessary.

For a free consultation, contact Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880.

Second Chances

The following offenses are often resolved by way of a deferred disposition: Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, disorderly persons, theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault and criminal trespass.

There are different types of deferred dispositions depending on the seriousness of the offense. A deferred disposition may require that the juvenile report to a probation officer, or Ms. Breslow-Testa can argue for a “non-reporting” type of probation. Please be aware that some counties are hesitant to allow the juvenile to get the benefit of a deferred disposition unless it is an extremely minor offense. This is because once the juvenile completes the deferred disposition all identifying information, such as fingerprints and DNA, must be removed from the system if it is reporting deferred disposition.

Serving Monmouth County, Tara Breslow-Testa is a juvenile justice attorney who has fought for her clients to overcome this potential obstacle. Since you never know what challenges you will face in Court, it is important to have an attorney who has handled several different types of juvenile matters and will fight to get the best result.

First Offense, Second Chance

If this is the juvenile’s first adjudication, he or she could be eligible for a deferred disposition depending on the severity of the offense committed. A deferred disposition is a way to avoid adjudicated delinquency; and in essence, give the juvenile a second chance. If the juvenile remains arrest free and compliant with the recommendations set forth by the Judge, then the matter gets dismissed after a period of time (usually one year). Thus, the Court “defers” the disposition, allowing the juvenile to remain compliant and arrest free.

A juvenile justice lawyer serving Monmouth County, Tara Breslow-Testa has been successful at convincing the State to follow along with this type of disposition even prior to appearing in court. Many times the State is hesitant in recommending a deferred disposition, and when this occurs Ms. Breslow-Testa knows how to best persuade the State, as well as the Judge, to allow the juvenile to get the benefit of the deferred disposition.

Better Call Tara

A deferred disposition is the best way to keep your child out of hot water, and their record clear. Monmouth County juvenile justice lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa understands the philosophy of New Jersey courts, and is ready to stand by you and your child to argue for a second chance.

For a free consultation, contact Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880.