If your child has been caught and arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance like cocaine or marijuanaand they are under the age of 18, then they will be treated as a juvenile. This process is different from the typical criminal procedures followed for adults and requires a firm understanding of the rules and statutory requirements if you hope to navigate it. Since a juvenile’s record poses severe consequences for young children, potentially destroying a educational opportunities or career prospects, it is critical that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles matters in Ocean County. Proetta & Oliver is a criminal defense firm that focuses its practice on the representation of juveniles and adults facing criminal charges. If your child has been charged with drug possession, it is in your best interest to seek out as much information as possible. Having a competent and experienced attorney review the issues in your case and discuss what obstacles you may face will only help you in the long run. Call 848-238-2100 to speak to a juvenile lawyer today about your case.
Drug Possession as Applied to Juveniles
If a juvenile is caught and charged with possession of drugs, specifically marijuana or cocaine, the Ocean County Family Court must determine how it will process the case. Having an attorney at this point can help convince the judge to resolve the case in a beneficial way for your child. These options before the court include:
Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) or Intake Services Conference (ISC)
If the court proceeds to a delinquency hearing, the State will attempt to prove that your child possessed a controlled dangerous substance. If the judge finds these allegations to be factual, then your child will be adjudicated “delinquent”. Once the child is adjudicated delinquent, which means they would be found guilty of the crime of drug possession if they were an adult, the Court holds a dispositional hearing to determine the appropriate sentence to impose. The court will have a variety of options at sentencing, including:
release to parent or guardian;
required support services;
required parental involvement;
residential mental health and/or substance abuse and alcohol treatment;
In some types of juvenile cases, there are mandatory dispositions, and in some types of offenses, such as certain drug-related matters, fines must be imposed by the court.
Possession of Drugs in Manchester
A juvenile could be charged under N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-10 if he or she possesses, actually or constructively, a controlled substance without a valid prescription. The charge is straightforward but there are various defenses available to these charges. Contact an attorney to find out if they apply to your case.
Marijuana Possession within a School Zone
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, a juvenile will face a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service if the violation occurred within 1,000 feet of a property used for school purposes. This includes athletic fields and other areas beyond just school property.
Deferred Disposition for Juveniles in Toms River
In some instances, formal disposition can be deferred or delayed for up to one year. During this period, your child must complete any special conditions ordered by the judge and must not be charged with a new offense. If he or she meets all conditions during the deferral period, the complaint will be dismissed. If conditions are not met, the original complaint will go back to court and be heard by the judge. Our firm has successfully entered juvenile clients into this diversionary program and watched them successfully complete the terms. The benefit to our clients is that the charges are treated as dismissed and not delinquency is entered by the court.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.