Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in NJ Juvenile Cases

Juvenile Defense Lawyers in Hackensack, New Jersey

Travis J. Tormey is an experienced criminal defense and drunk driving (DWI) attorney who represents clients charged with various juvenile offenses throughout Bergen County, including in Hillsdale, Little Ferry, and Maywood. In his years of practice, Mr. Tormey has handled thousands of criminal cases in both Superior Court (felonies) and Municipal Court (misdemeanors). In New Jersey, juvenile offenses are handled in Superior Court by the county prosecutor’s office. Mr. Tormey has represented many juvenile clients over the years in criminal cases, including disorderly conduct, mutual fighting, and carjacking. He will use this invaluable experience as well as his long-standing relationships with local prosecutors and judges to get the best possible result in your case. Contact his office anytime at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation.

“When my son was arrested for distribution of marijuana and MDMA, our world was a nightmare and we were scared. When we met Travis he reassured us that my son would be okay. When it came time for court we thought that our son was going to be on probation, or even worse, however, Travis was able to get my sons case dismissed. “Exactly what we wanted!” Thank you Travis for all your help. I would highly recommend the Tormey law firm they were excellent!”

– Former client’s mother 

Juvenile Cases in New Jersey: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Some of the most frequently asked questions relating to juvenile offenses in New Jersey include:

· What is the age of adulthood in New Jersey?

o 18 years old. As such, anyone under the age of 18 will be prosecuted as a juvenile, while anyone over the age of 18 will be prosecuted as an adult. There are certain cases where a juvenile may be waived up to be prosecuted in adult court.

· Where are juvenile offenses handled?

o Juvenile offenses are handled in the Superior Court in the county in which the juvenile resides.

· What is the standard and purpose of juvenile court?

o The standard in juvenile court is the “best interests of the child.” As a result, the focus is on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment and deterrence.

· Are juveniles arrested?

o Not technically. They are taken into custody for their own safety, after which point a judge will determine whether they should be released.

· Does a juvenile have the right to remain silent?

o Yes.

· Does a juvenile have a right to an attorney?

o Yes.

· Must a juvenile hire an attorney?

o Yes. In New Jersey, a juvenile must be represented in court by counsel. If the juvenile qualifies financial, he or she can apply for a public defender.

· Can a juvenile be prosecuted as an adult?

o Yes. In certain serious cases, the prosecutor’s office can apply for the juvenile to be waived up to adult court for prosecution. The waiver issue will be decided by a Superior Court judge.

· Is a juvenile record sealed?

o Yes. Juvenile records should not show up on a background check. However, law enforcement will always have access to the juvenile records in the Criminal Case History (CCH).

· Is there a right to a jury trial in a juvenile case?

o No. Juvenile trials are known as “bench trials” and will be conducted by a Superior Court Judge.

· Are there any diversionary programs for juveniles?

o Yes. The juvenile conference committee, family intake meetings, and stationhouse adjustments can be used to avoid a formal court hearing and allow the juvenile a second chance after meeting certain requirements. Also, in some cases a deferred disposition may be obtained in court. This allows the charges to be dismissed after successful completion of all court-imposed conditions.

· What type of punishment can be imposed if the juvenile is found delinquent?

o Fines, restitution, community service, probation, and jail time are possible penalties which may be imposed by the Superior Court judge at sentencing.

Contact a Juvenile Criminal Trial Lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey

Mr. Tormey has handled thousands of criminal cases throughout New Jersey and will use his legal experience to guide your case through the system en route to the best possible outcome. Contact his Hackensack offices anytime at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation.


If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.