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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.

Juvenile Offenses

Adjudicated Delinquent

The New Jersey Juvenile Courts have a unique lingo that is kinder and gentler than adult court: Instead of being arrested, juveniles are “taken into custody” and instead of being convicted, juveniles are “adjudicated delinquent.”

The philosophy of the New Jersey Juvenile courts is: Understand and rehabilitate where possible, punish where necessary. Juveniles committing a crime can order a “deferred disposition” - essentially a second chance which will have the charge erased as long as certain conditions are met.

There can be short and long-term consequences for a juvenile “adjudicated delinquent:” fines, jail time and a permanent stain on their record which could have negative resonations when applying for schools, military, driver’s license or professional licenses.

And if a juvenile becomes an adult and gets into trouble, a judge may look at their juvenile record, and make decisions based on that.

And a conviction for juvenile offenses also affects the way a young person sees him or herself - and that can affect self worth.

If you are a juvenile - or the guardian of a juvenile - who gets into trouble, the first person you should talk to is Monmouth County juvenile crime lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa. Born, bred and educated in New Jersey (JD Rutgers), Tara Breslow-Testa has experience on both sides of the bench. She understands the complicated matrix and the philosophy of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice system: Forgive and rehabilitate where possible, punish where required.

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

What Constitutes a Juvenile Offense?

Any adult crime can be charged as a juvenile offense if the individual is under 18. Common juvenile offenses include:

If this is the juvenile’s first adjudication, Ms. Breslow-Testa can try to negotiate a deferred disposition if all the necessary criteria are met: A second chance for a juvenile who will hopefully make good on it and take the straight and narrow.

Tara Breslow-Testa is a juvenile crime attorney serving Monmouth County who is familiar with the juvenile court system and knows how to work with aggressive prosecutors and seen-and-heard-it-all judges to find the most appropriate resolution for juvenile offenders.

Attorney Tara Breslow has represented numerous minors throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and Union County. She is a fierce advocate who will work tirelessly on your child’s behalf. She has years of experience advocating for the most vulnerable – minors who find themselves in trouble for the first time and those having difficulty finding the right path.

For more serious crimes, juveniles may be tried in adult court and face adult prison. Serving Monmouth County, Tara Breslow-Testa is a skilled juvenile crime attorney who has the passion and commitment to vigorously represent you if this becomes a possibility.

What Happens if I’m Charged?

If you’re charged with an offense in most situations your case will be assigned to a family court judge. Traffic offenses and serious crimes may be tried in different courts. Tara Breslow-Testa is a juvenile offenses attorney who has a proven track record of working with family court judges to find the best rehabilitative remedy for you - often community service or restitution – rather than placement in a juvenile detention facility.

The Family Part

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part handles Judicial proceedings for most juveniles - with some exceptions.

Tara Breslow-Testa is a Monmouth County juvenile crime attorney who is intimately familiar with the Family Part and she is prepared to do what is best for your child, and you.

Deferred Disposition

A “deferred disposition” can be ordered by a New Jersey judge as a second chance to let an underage offender make right on a crime - and not face fines or jail time or a permanent stain on their 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.

Tara Breslow-Testa is a Monmouth County Juvenile Crime lawyer who understands judicial psychology, and has the skills to negotiate for a deferred disposition - sometimes it takes some convincing. Ms. Breslow-Testa has come through for her clients time and again.

Juvenile Cases Tried in Adult Court

Juveniles between 14 and 18 can have their cases “waived” to an adult court, or the attorneys for a juvenile can ask that their case be moved to the higher court. This move is usually triggered by serious crimes: murder, sexual assault, armed robbery or any firearms crime.

Juveniles tried as adults do not have the right to have their cases heard by a Grand Jury, and juvenile cases moved to adult court are always heard by a judge, not a jury.

Life imprisonment without possibility of parole cannot be applied to juvenile cases tried in adult court, as the Supreme Court has found that to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The death penalty cannot be applied to juvenile cases - although New Jersey doesn’t have the death penalty.

Juveniles can also voluntarily ask that their case be moved to adult court - this could be on advice of counsel, or previous experience with an unsympathetic judge.

If you are the guardian of a juvenile who has done something illegal and this is a first offense, contact Monmouth County juvenile crime attorney Tara Breslow-Testa. You want her in your corner when squaring off with prosecutors and judges.

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