South Jersey Juvenile Drug Offense Lawyer
Respected Criminal Defense Lawyer Helps Clients Fight Juvenile Drug Offenses in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout New Jersey
The New Jersey juvenile criminal justice system is focused on rehabilitation, rather than punishment. Despite this, a juvenile drug offense conviction will still have serious consequences—and in the most serious cases, your child could even be tried as an adult. Taking juvenile drug offense charges seriously can be key to protecting your child’s future—including by increasing the odds that your child will stay out of trouble in the future.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our lawyers and criminal defense team analyze and investigate your case thoroughly to build the strongest possible defense. Protecting your child’s future and reputation are our number one priority. We treat all of our clients with respect—and that includes providing personal attention and support to you and your family throughout the entire defense process.
No parent wants to see their teen move into adulthood carrying a prior criminal record. Our founding attorney is a former Burlington County prosecutor who knows all too well that a single criminal offense can lead to many more down the road. We take juvenile criminal defense especially seriously, with the aim of preventing your child from committing future offenses.
Under New Jersey law, all juveniles must be represented by a lawyer to defend their drug offense charges. Because all lawyers are not created equally, it is important to make sure you have the best lawyer possible advocating for your child’s best interests. To learn more about how we can help fight your juvenile drug offense charges, schedule a confidential consultation with our South Jersey defense lawyers today.
Our South Jersey Juvenile Drug Offense Defense Practice
Penalties for juvenile drug offenses largely mirror those that can be imposed in adult cases: probation, financial penalties, community service, incarceration. However, rather than incarceration in a state prison, juveniles are held in a juvenile detention center. Juvenile drug offenses commonly involve allegations of:
- Simple possession of marijuana (50 grams or less),
- Possession of marijuana, opioids, MDMA, and other controlled substances,
- Prescription drug possession,
- Possession of drugs at school or near school property,
- Constructive possession of drugs, including in situations where the drugs are present in a car and your child knew they were there,
- Being under the influence of drugs in a public place,
- Driving while under the influence of drugs,
- Possession of drug paraphernalia,
- Drug distribution,
- Possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
As in adult drug offense cases, penalties vary primarily depending upon the amount and type of drug involved. Simple possession of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense (a misdemeanor), while possession of more than 50 grams is a felony-level fourth-degree offense. When more “serious” drugs are involved—those that are classified as Schedule I or Schedule II substances— the penalties can be much steeper. Possession of less than one ounce of cocaine, for example, is a third-degree juvenile drug offense.
When the juvenile drug offense occurred on school property or within 1,000 feet of school property (including areas used for school purposes, such as sports fields), penalties increase. The minor will generally be required to serve 100 hours of community service and complete any additional punishment that the judge deems appropriate.
Knowledgeable Camden County, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Advocates for Juveniles Arrested on Drug Charges
South Jersey judges generally have more leeway in assigning punishment for juvenile drug offenses when compared to adult cases. For example, the judge may consider factors such as:
- The child’s age,
- Past behavior, including past criminal charges,
- The value of rehabilitation and drug counseling over incarceration.
Juvenile drug offenses are handled differently from adult drug offenses in several ways, including:
- Juvenile proceedings are closed to the public,
- The juvenile does not have the right to a jury trial,
- Drug offenses prosecuted at the juvenile level are heard by a division of the family court.
A focus upon rehabilitation does not mean that New Jersey takes juvenile drug offenses lightly. In fact, the opposite is true. With the ongoing opioid crisis and general concerns about drug use on the rise among young adults, New Jersey judges take juvenile drug offenses extremely seriously.
Our lawyers are here to help protect your child’s future and prevent incarceration in juvenile detention wherever possible. To speak with an experienced defense lawyer, call today.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Trusted Juvenile Drug Offense Defense Lawyers in South Jersey Today
Thousands of minors under the age of 18 are arrested on drug offenses in New Jersey each year. While the perception is often that drug charges involving marijuana and small amounts of drugs are not serious, this is false. A juvenile drug offense conviction can go on your child’s record and must often be disclosed during the college admissions process.
Our talented South Jersey juvenile defense lawyers are here to advocate forcefully to minimize the consequences of a juvenile drug offense. To learn more about how we can help in your case, call us as soon as possible to schedule a confidential consultation. You can also fill out this online contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions About Juvenile Drug Offense Charges in Burlington County, NJ
First, if your child is being held, an initial hearing must be held within 24 hours. If your child is remanded back to detention, another probable cause hearing and a second detention-related hearing must be held within two business days. Juveniles are also entitled to hearings periodically as they are being held in detention, with review hearings taking place again after 14 days and 21 days. Final disposition of the case must generally occur within 60 days. The goal of these rules is to handle the case swiftly and to continue to evaluate whether it is appropriate to keep your child in detention. Our lawyers can help throughout this entire process and will advocate for release at the earliest possible date.
In addition to detention and financial penalties, the judge may deem it appropriate to require:
-Substance abuse counseling or treatment,
-Drug and alcohol testing,
-Completion of an educational or vocational rehabilitation program,