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Trespassing by a Juvenile

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N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3 Criminal Trespass for a Juvenile

As a pedestrian, you may constantly find yourself on private property, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It is important to understand what constitutes a criminal trespass under New Jersey law for a juvenile, so that you or your child do not find yourself facing indictable felony charges. A charge for criminal trespassing in Ocean County can result in serious consequences. For a juvenile, these consequences are not much different. A first-time offender juvenile charged with Criminal Trespassing will either classify as a crime of the fourth degree, a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense. Even more concerning is the fact that these trespassing charges may just be one of a list of other charges. Depending on the circumstances, long term detention at the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center may be a possibility for you or your child, unless you take the proper steps to protect your rights.

Point Pleasant Trespassing Charges

There are multiple scenarios that could result in result in criminal trespass charges.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(a), to be convicted of criminal trespass in the fourth degree, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile: (1) enters or secretly remains; (2) in any school or school property, dwelling, research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores,  generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds, or utility company property; (3) while knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so.

A person also commits a crime of the fourth degree, Under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(c), if: (1) knowing that they are not licensed or privileged to do so; (2) they peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation; (3) for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person; (4) under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(a), it would be a disorderly persons offense for criminal trespass, if the juvenile: (1) knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so; (2) enters or surreptitiously remains; (3) in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, or in or upon utility company property.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(b), it would also be a disorderly persons offense for criminal trespass, if the juvenile: (1) knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so; (2) enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:

  1.         Actual communication to the actor; or
  2.         Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
  3.         Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.

What are the Penalties for Trespassing in Brick NJ?

If convicted of criminal trespassing in the fourth degree, a juvenile faces up to 1 year in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center. If convicted of a disorderly persons criminal trespassing offense, a juvenile will face up to 6 months in a Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center. As a juvenile, your matter will be heard before a Family Division Judge at a hearing known as a “juvenile delinquency hearing”. If adjudicated delinquent, the judge will consider the following aggravating and mitigating factors before sentencing the juvenile to detention at the Ocean County Detention Center:

Aggravating Factors:

(a)The fact that the nature and circumstances of the act, and the role of the juvenile therein, was committed in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner;

(b)The fact that there was grave and serious harm inflicted on the victim and that based upon the juvenile’s age or mental capacity the juvenile knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was particularly vulnerable or incapable of resistance due to advanced age, disability, ill-health, or extreme youth, or was for any other reason substantially incapable;

(c)The character and attitude of the juvenile indicate that the juvenile is likely to commit another delinquent or criminal act;

(d)The juvenile’s prior record and the seriousness of any acts for which the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent;

(e)The fact that the juvenile committed the act pursuant to an agreement that the juvenile either pay or be paid for the commission of the act and that the pecuniary incentive was beyond that inherent in the act itself;

(f)The fact that the juvenile committed the act against a policeman or other law enforcement officer, correctional employee or fireman, acting in the performance of his duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority, or the juvenile committed the act because of the status of the victim as a public servant;

(g)The need for deterring the juvenile and others from violating the law;

(h)The fact that the juvenile knowingly conspired with others as an organizer, supervisor, or manager to commit continuing criminal activity in concert with two or more persons and the circumstances of the crime show that he has knowingly devoted himself to criminal activity as part of an ongoing business activity;

(i)The fact that the juvenile on two separate occasions was adjudged a delinquent on the basis of acts which if committed by an adult would constitute crimes;

(j)The impact of the offense on the victim or victims;

(k)The impact of the offense on the community; and

(l)The threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the child.

Mitigating Factors

(a)The child is under the age of 14;

(b)The juvenile’s conduct neither caused nor threatened serious harm;

(c)The juvenile did not contemplate that the juvenile’s conduct would cause or threaten serious harm;

(d)The juvenile acted under a strong provocation;

(e)There were substantial grounds tending to excuse or justify the juvenile’s conduct, though failing to establish a defense;

(f)The victim of the juvenile’s conduct induced or facilitated its commission;t

(g)The juvenile has compensated or will compensate the victim for the damage or injury that the victim has sustained, or will participate in a program of community service;

(h)The juvenile has no history of prior delinquency or criminal activity or has led a law-abiding life for a substantial period of time before the commission of the present act;

(i)The juvenile’s conduct was the result of circumstances unlikely to recur;

(j)The character and attitude of the juvenile indicate that the juvenile is unlikely to commit another delinquent or criminal act;

(k)The juvenile is particularly likely to respond affirmatively to non-custodial treatment;

(l)The separation of the juvenile from the juvenile’s family by incarceration of the juvenile would entail excessive hardship to the juvenile or the juvenile’s family;

(m)The willingness of the juvenile to cooperate with law enforcement authorities;

(n)The conduct of the juvenile was substantially influenced by another person more mature than the juvenile.

There is a presumption against incarceration for fourth degree and disorderly offenses involving a juvenile who is a first-time offender. Contact the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver at 848-238-2100 to discuss how these sentencing factors and the proofs in your case can be used to avoid an adjudication of delinquency for your child.

 

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