Juvenile Matters

If you are a parent of a child charged with a crime, it is important to hire an experienced juvenile criminal attorney to discuss your options. Attorney Barbara Suppa has handled over thousands of juvenile cases and has litigated hundreds of juvenile delinquency trials throughout her career. She was instrumental in achieving many changes in the juvenile justice system and has taught many law enforcement officers and lawyers on this subject matter. As the former Director of the Juvenile Unit for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ms. Suppa has handled juvenile cases from school fights to multiple murders.

The criminal process of juvenile matters implements the goal of rehabilitation. Due to the many nuances under the New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice, attorney Barbara Suppa has the vast experience to evaluate and litigate for the right outcome, while simultaneously considering the juvenile’s needs. Whether this be a dismissal, reduction of charges or a lighter penalty, Ms. Suppa will be dedicated to the juvenile from start to finish. Ms. Suppa is aware that a juvenile’s reputation and record should not be tarnished because of offenses committed during one’s youth. Whether it be criminal charges, a crisis situation, or the need for an alternative disposition, Ms. Suppa will tirelessly argue for her juvenile client and remain committed to ensure the juvenile’s rights are fully protected. 

Juvenile offenses are those crimes that are committed by an individual under the age of 18. The crimes can include drug possession and distribution, sexual assaults, possession of child pornography, assault, harassment, theft, disorderly conduct, and even homicide. A juvenile’s matter can either be screened “diverted” or “formal” before a Superior Court Judge. If the latter, and the juvenile is an “adjudicated delinquent,” serious consequences could impact the juvenile’s education and employment. 

Depending on the charges and the juvenile’s history, the juvenile may receive; (1) a “deferred disposition” which is a diversionary program ultimately resulting in a dismissal of the charges, (2) term of probation, or (3) a confinement in a juvenile facility. Charging of juvenile matters is reviewed by the Family Court and the Prosecutor’s Office. The matter will be assigned to the Superior Court, Family Division, where the juvenile resides. Under certain circumstances, where the crime charged is serious and falls within the elements of the waiver statute, the matter may be “waived” to the Criminal Division/Adult Court. 

 There are many factors involved with juvenile criminal charges and in the outcome of the juvenile’s case. There is also a great deal of discretion exercised by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court in the handling of juvenile matters. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney at the time of arrest or charging. Ms. Suppa is an attorney who possesses a great deal of knowledge and experience with the juvenile justice system and will advocate for the juvenile throughout the entire process.

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