Juvenile Harassment Charges
Everyone knows that children can be mean and cruel to each other at times. However, these situations can quickly escalate to the point of criminal harassment. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall are experienced in defending juveniles and their families against harassment charges. A criminal lawyer with our office is available statewide including Ocean County, Union County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Essex County, and Mercer County, to speak to you and your family if your minor child has been arrested or charged with the offense of harassment. You may also want to consult our Restraining Order page for relevant information.
NJ Harassment Law
New Jersey’s Harassment law applies to juveniles and adult offenders and is set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. Harassment is usually a petty disorderly persons offense and can involve alarming conduct or annoying communications to another, during inconvenient hours and or accompanied with offensive language, or sometimes even physical contact such as shoving, striking, or kicking or a threat to do such. Harassment becomes an indictable offense of the Fourth Degree if the harassment occurs while the defendant is on parole or probation for another criminal offense.
Harassment as Applied to Juveniles
If a juvenile is charged with harassment the court holds a hearing to determine if delinquency exists. If a juvenile is found delinquent, meaning they would be found guilty of the crime if they were an adult, then the court may impose an appropriate sentence. Harassment is typically considered a petty disorderly persons offense. Petty disorderly persons offenses usually bring a presumption of no incarceration for first time juvenile offenders N.J.S. 2A:4A-44(b)(1). However, the court still has a broad discretion to impose a significant non-custodial disposition from the wide array of choices specified in N.J.S. 2A:4A-43 that range in harshness. It should also be noted that if the juvenile has a past history of other offenses then they may face the possibility of incarceration. The criminal lawyers at our firm are often successful in obtaining the least severe non-custodial sentence and/or dismissal altogether for our juvenile clients and their families when it comes to these types of charges.
When a juvenile is arrested or charged with harassment there are numerous defenses that an experience lawyer can bring up. One important distinction that can often be argued is whether the conduct was just insensitive or actually prohibited harassment or maybe your son or daughter did not intend their communication to harass the other person. These distinctions are often hard to determine or prove and thus an experienced attorney is needed to make sure your child receives the best possible outcome. If your minor child has somehow become charged or arrested for harassment, the criminal attorneys at our law firm can address your concerns and insure that your child is properly defended because they deserve a second chance. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall are experienced in handling juvenile harassment cases and are available to appear in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Somerset County, Essex County, Hudson County and Bergen County. Every juvenile “harassment” scenario is fact sensitive and the defense attorneys at our office are well aware of the intricacies of a harassment complaint. Please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free initial consultation with an attorney of our law firm if you are in need of legal assistance. A lawyer with the firm is ready to assist you and your child and put this behind