Final Restraining Order (FRO) Dismissed on Appeal

Appeal Restraining Order NJ help lawyer needed
Appeal Restraining Order NJ

Do you need to appeal a final restraining order (FRO) that was issued against you? We can help you with that.

Here is an appeal that we won in early 2019 for a client who had a final restraining order (FRO) issued against him in late 2016 based on harassment as the predicate act of domestic violence. We felt that the evidence did not support a finding of harassment and that there was no need for a permanent restraining order to protect the plaintiff. As a result, we filed an appeal on these two issues.

The plaintiff and defendant were previously married and had two children together. The plaintiff now resides in New Jersey with the children while the defendant resides in California with his new wife and their young child. The incident that gave rise to the plaintiff filing for a temporary restraining order was concerning the children, when they were on vacation visiting their father in California. The plaintiff alleged that there were some harassing text messages sent when the parties were arguing about the children. However, these text messages were never provided or admitted into evidence.

The appellate court found that these 7 text messages did not constitute harassment in this circumstance. Clearly, both parties sent text messages back and forth and the purpose was a dispute over the parenting of their children. The plaintiff failed to produce the text messages and prove that they were harassing or that they were sent to harass the plaintiff. As a result, the court found that there was no harassment and no predicate act of domestic violence.

In addition, the court found that no evidence was produced to show that the plaintiff was reasonable to be in fear for her safety and that she needed the protection of the courts with a restraining order. The parties live across the country from each other (one in New Jersey and one in California) so it is difficult to prove a reasonable fear for your safety. Therefore, the court dismissed the case completely based on a lack of domestic violence and a lack of a need for a restraining order.

Here is a link to the NJ Courts website where you can read the entire opinion from the Appellate Court.

Lawyer Needed to Appeal Final Restraining Order NJ? Contact Us

This was a tremendous result for our client and the Tormey Law Firm. If you need a lawyer to file an appeal after a final restraining order (FRO) was issued against you, contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation.

Fight DWI Charge Florham Park NJ lawyer
Florham Park DWI Charges

Have you been arrested and charged with DWI in Florham Park? Do you need a lawyer to fight these charges for you in court? We can help.

Our Morris County DWI defense lawyers recently represented a client facing a first offense DWI ticket arising out of Florham Park, NJ. He also received summonses for careless driving, speeding, and unsafe lane change. His purported blood alcohol content (BAC) was .09%, just over the legal limit in New Jersey of .08%. If convicted of the DWI, as a first offender, he would lose his driving privileges in NJ for 90 days, he would be sentenced to 12-48 hours of alcohol classes at DMV, pay a fine close to $800, and would be subject to 30 days in jail.

We received the discovery package from the Florham Park police department. Discovery is all the evidence the State possesses that they intend to rely upon to prove the charges against the defendant. Discovery in a DWI case typically includes police reports, video evidence, accident reports (if applicable), and all the documents relating to the Alcotest machine, the breath testing device they use in NJ. These Alcotest documents include solution change reports, calibration records, any repair records, and the Alcohol Influence Report which shows the breath samples taken and both the electrochemical and infrared results of the breath samples.

In this case, after reviewing all the evidence, we were able to challenge the breath reading and show that the defendant was not necessarily over the limit. In addition, he performed very well on the field sobriety tests so the State could not prove the DWI based on the psychophysical evidence.

As a result, the DWI charge was completely dismissed. The client plead guilty to careless driving and unsafe lane change. He lost his driver’s license for 60 days. This was a great result for our client and the law firm. The client avoided a DWI conviction on his record as well as $3,000 in DMV surcharges, fines, alcohol classes, and jail time. In addition, his car insurance would have significantly risen had he been convicted of the DWI.

Need lawyer for a DWI Arrest in Florham Park? Contact Us

If you or a loved one needs representation for a DWI charge in Florham Park or anywhere else in Morris County, contact our offices now for immediate assistance. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.

arrested for a disorderly persons offense Morristown lawyer near meEvery crime in New Jersey is grouped into a classification based on the seriousness of the charge. As the crimes get more serious or violent, the penalties and consequences change. Essentially, the punishments get worse as the charges get more serious.

“Disorderly persons offenses” are one category of criminal charges under NJ law. They are actually one of the most common charges that lead to arrests for New Jersey citizens and people visiting from other states.

Arrested for a Disorderly Persons Offense in NJ

In other states, disorderly persons offenses are referred to as “misdemeanors.” They are simply less serious criminal offenses. In New Jersey, disorderly persons charges will be addressed in municipal court. Although these charges are less serious, you can still end up with a criminal conviction on your record because of this type of charge. They will stay on your criminal record for life, which means that they will show up on background checks run by potential employers, colleges and universities, and police department if you apply for a gun permit.

There are also two classifications of disorderly persons offenses: petty or regular disorderly persons charges. Petty disorderly offenses are less severe compared to a standard disorderly persons offense.

Common Disorderly Persons Offenses in New Jersey

Interestingly, disorderly conduct is actually a petty disorderly persons offense. The other very common petty disorderly persons offense is harassment.

Most other charges that fall under the disorderly persons “umbrella” of crimes will be disorderly persons offenses.  These types of offenses include things like shoplifting or criminal mischief that results in less than $200 in damages or loss. Simple assault, which may occur when there is a fight between two parties or an attempt to harm another person, is also a disorderly persons offense. Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense, too.

Consequences of NJ Disorderly Persons Charges

Petty disorderly persons offenses have a fine of $500, and you can end up with jail time of up to 90 days. Disorderly persons offenses have maximum penalties of up $1,000, and the maximum time in jail is 6 months. You can also be sentenced to do community service, pay additional fines, and court costs if convicted of a DP offense. Of course, having this type of offense on your record can also affect you for years to come. It could hinder your employment situation, including your ability to get a job in the future. It may also affect professional licenses and create immigration issues. If you are convicted of another crime in the future, your first offense could have an effect on the sentence you receive in the second case too.

Need a Lawyer to Defend Me for Disorderly Persons Case near Morristown

Due to the wide-ranging consequences that a disorderly persons offense conviction could have, it is vital that you put up a vigorous defense in these cases. One of your potential options is to have the charge “downgraded” to a Municipal Ordinance infraction, which has less severe consequences, or have it dismissed altogether.

A talented Morristown, New Jersey criminal defense attorney at our firm can help you explore your options if you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense. We are here to help you determine what the best course of action is to minimize the impact that this charge has on the rest of your life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Arrested for Creating False Public Alarm in Morristown?

Creating False Public Alarm Charges Morris County NJ
Creating False Public Alarm Charges Morris County NJ

If you or a loved one has been charged with creating a false public alarm in New Jersey under N.J.S. 2C:33-3, we can help.

Here is a case we handled in 2018 for a client facing those charges where we were able to keep this felony charge off of his record. Our client was a young professional who lives in Washington D.C. and is going to school for his masters. He was up in Morristown visiting his girlfriend and family and they were out drinking at some of the bars on the green. After their night was over, they went to the Morristown Diner for food. The establishment called the police because their crowd was creating a disturbance. The police asked the group to leave and they complied.

Unfortunately, our client was not happy with his interaction with the police and didn’t feel as though they were helping him. As a result, he called 9-1-1 for assistance. The police officers on scene responded and charged him with placing a false 9-1-1 call without an actual emergency under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3(a), which is a fourth degree crime in New Jersey. He was facing a $10,000 fine, probation, up to eighteen (18) months in prison, and a permanent felony charge on his record if he was convicted of this serious offense.

Luckily, we were able to convince the Morris County Prosecutor’s office to downgrade the felony charge back to Morristown Municipal Court as a disorderly persons offense. Then, when we appeared in court and the prosecutor reviewed the police reports and circumstances of the arrest, Mr. Tormey was able to convince him to downgrade the case again to a town ordinance violation for disturbing the peace. This resulted in a fine and no criminal record for our client.

Lawyer Needed for 4th Degree Charge Morris County? Contact Us

The client was extemely satisfied with the service provided and the results in this case. With his promising career ahead of him, it was crucial to avoid any criminal convictions on his permanent record. If you or a loved one needs assistance with a criminal charge in Morris County, contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation.

Rockaway Shoplifting Charges Result in No Jail Time on a Third Offense

Need lawyer for shoplifting case Morris County
Shoplifting Charges Morris County NJ

Have you been arrested for shoplifting in Morris County? We can help. Here is a case we successfully handled in 2018 for a client who was facing a third offense shoplifting conviction which requires a mandatory 90 days in the county jail if convicted.

Our client was a 61-year old married father who hadn’t had an arrest or conviction since 1990 (28 years ago). Unfortunately for him, his two prior convictions in 1989 and 1990 were for shoplifting. Under New Jersey law, a third conviction for shoplifting (at any time in person’s life, even almost 30 years ago), requires that the defendant serve 90 days in the county jail. This alleged shoplifting offense was in Rockaway Township in Nordstrom Rack in an amount of $74.00.

We were retained to handle the case and filed Laurick motions in the two courts where his prior convictions occurred (Wayne and Bridgewater). Because he was not represented by an attorney on those two prior cases, under New Jersey law they can not enhance his third offense to include that mandatory jail time. The argument is that he was not properly advised of his rights and the penalties involved for subsequent convictions because he did not have legal counsel.

Luckily for our client, the motion was granted in Bridgewater and the Judge there signed an Order stating that the prior conviction could not be used to enhance a subsequent conviction. This avoids the mandatory jail time.However, the Municipal Judge in Rockaway Township could still impose a jail sentence if he believed it was appropriate under the circumstances.

We submitted a sentencing brief to the Court which details our client’s age, medical issues, proof of employment, the hardship a jail sentence would impose on him and his family, the counseling he completed after this offense, and argued that he had been living a law abiding life for the last 28 years since his prior convictions and that should significantly mitigate the instant offense and the Judge agreed. He imposed a one year probationary sentence and 90 days SLAP (which is in lieu of county jail time). The SLAP program allows people to do community service instead of actual jail time.

This was a great result for our client and the Tormey Law Firm. Here is a review from our client on this case:

5.0 stars

Posted by John September 28, 2018

Hiring Mr. Tormey to defend my shoplifting charge was the best decision of my life. I was facing mandatory jail time due to two prior convictions. My case lasted 5 months, and was the most stressful time I have ever experienced. The judge was very unforgiving, and from the first court session we learn that he was going to give me the maximum mandatory jail sentence. However, with his skill and knowledge, Mr. Tormey uses ever possible strategy to get me from being incarcerated. At the sentencing date, the judge told me and quoted “This is a very lucky day for you, I have decided not to give you jail time, and you have to thank Mr. Tormey for he has worked very hard on your behalf”. With that I was given probation and no jail time. Mr. Tormey is a professional, very responsive and stayed focus to get you the best possible outcome. At one point I was ready to plead guilty, serve the time and then just move on with my life. He reassured me by saying “That is a terrible decision, just let me do what I can do and we will avoid the jail time”. I am glad I took his advice. I also wanted to thank Mr. Brent DiMarco, an associated with his firm who assisted the case by drafting and filing various motions with the other municipal courts, and in submitting the sentencing memo to the judge. His documents were comprehensive, timely filed and were instrumental in achieving the favorable outcome. If you need an attorney in this and other criminal matters, please do yourself a huge favor and call Mr. Tormey and his team of lawyers.

Lawyer Needed for Shoplifting Charge Morris County NJ? Call Us

If you or someone you know needs a lawyer for a shoplifting charge in Morris County, contact us anytime for a free consultation.

Juvenile Arrested for Marijuana in Morris County?

Child was arrested for marijuana Morristown lawyers near meMany of the same laws apply in full force to juveniles just as they do to adults in New Jersey. However, juveniles are often treated differently with more minor offenses, and some drug crimes will fall under this more lenient treatment. One of the most common drug crimes involving minors in New Jersey relates to simple marijuana possession, also known as possession of under 50 grams of marijuana. Below are just a few things that you should know as a minor or a parent if your child is charged with this type of offense.

1. Possession of Less Than 50 Grams of Marijuana is a Disorderly Persons Offense

If anyone is charged with simple possession of marijuana, this is a criminal misdemeanor, called a disorderly persons offense. The maximum amount of time in jail is six months, and you can face up to $1,000 in fines. If possession is over 50 grams, however, it is considered an indictable crime. In either type of charge, your driver’s license may be suspended for six months. Juveniles, however, face a different kind of penalty after a marijuana possession charge.

2. Sentences for Juvenile Marijuana Possession Charges are Flexible

If you get a possession charge as an adult, you may only have a couple of choices when it comes to a potential sentence. Most of those include jail time and fines, unless you have no prior criminal record, in which case you may be eligible for Conditional Discharge (explained below). As a minor, however, your sentence may involve things like probation, community service, drug rehabilitation, mental health counseling, or restitution. Suspension of driving privileges is also likely.

3. Your Child May Qualify for a Deferred Disposition

Individuals charged with marijuana possession who are first-time offenders are often eligible for a divisionary program called Conditional Discharge. This type of program allows them to stay out of jail and avoid a criminal record by completing a period of probation, during which they may have to submit to random drug testing. A deferred disposition in a juvenile case works very similar to having conditional discharge as an adult. Essentially, the minor can fulfill the requirements imposed by the juvenile judge and keep their juvenile record clean.

4. Paraphernalia Can Also Trigger a Weed Possession Charge in New Jersey

If a minor has a pipe that has marijuana residue, even if they do not have any marijuana on them, the minor can still be charged with possession of pot. The same can be said if an officer finds a joint nearby, even if it has already been mostly smoked. Essentially, any amount of a drug found in drug paraphernalia can lead to drug possession charges under New Jersey law.

5. Having Drug Paraphernalia is a Separate Charge

A minor might also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to possession. That type of charge is also a disorderly persons offense. Even things like jars, pipes, rolling papers, bongs, scales, and electronic cigarettes could all be considered drug paraphernalia in some circumstances.

6. Marijuana Possession Charges for Juveniles Are Heard in Family Court

If you are under the age of 18, your possession charge will be heard in Family Court of the Superior Court in the county where you reside. It does not matter that you were charged in a different county—you must return to the county where you live to be charged as a juvenile. However, if you are over 18, then you will be prosecuted in Municipal Court where the incident occurred. If you or your child is a Morris County resident, your juvenile marijuana case will be heard in the Morris County Superior Court Family Division in Morristown, NJ.

7. You Might Have More Defenses Available Than You Realize

When police find marijuana, it is often the result of a search. However, there are only certain conditions that searches are permitted. If the search was invalid and they found marijuana as a result of the invalid or illegal search, then the evidence that it existed at all could be thrown out. Even questioning and telling someone about their rights must be done in a specific way. Any of these factors could create a defense to a juvenile marijuana possession charge.

8. Juveniles Will Still Face Drug Charges if Marijuana is Legalized in NJ

Although the question of whether marijuana will be legalized in New Jersey is still up in the air, one thing is certain: juveniles will still be charged with criminal offenses for marijuana possession if it is legalized. Minors and parents should keep this in mind regardless of what happens with any new marijuana laws in the coming months.

If you or your child has been charged with marijuana possession, get help formulating the best defense from our Morris County marijuana possession lawyers. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us today for a free consultation.

Need a Lawyer for Parsippany juvenile caseNot every juvenile case in New Jersey will go to a formal hearing before a Juvenile Judge. Some cases will be referred to “Juvenile Referees.” These individuals act as a go-between for the minor facing the charges and the judge. Juvenile referees hold hearings, but the proceedings are much less formal. The juvenile referee is trained and certified to fulfill their role. They will often decide cases using much less stringent evidence requirements. They may also make more creative recommendations regarding how a juvenile should be treated if the child is found to be “delinquent.” Here are the basics of what you need to know about Juvenile Referees if your son or daughter needs to appear for a juvenile case in New Jersey.

What is a Juvenile Referee in New Jersey?

A Juvenile Referee is appointed by the Family Court Judge. He or she is also approved by the Chief Justice. The State of New Jersey also has specific requirements that this person must meet to serve in this role, including undergoing training and education. Generally, the Juvenile Referee will hear pleas from juveniles and conduct hearings if the juvenile pleads “not guilty.” As a rule, more serious offenses (those that are considered at least third degree crimes) will not be heard by a Juvenile Referee. Sometimes, turning to a Referee is a logical next step if you have had an unsuccessful Juvenile Conference Committee meeting or if the case involves a repeat offender or violation of probation.

Hearing Before a Juvenile Referee in NJ

Trials that involve Juvenile Referees are far more informal than traditional juvenile hearings. Nonetheless, like a conventional hearing, both the state and the juvenile can call witnesses and submit evidence. The minor can testify on his or her own behalf if they wish as well. Once all of the evidence is presented, the Juvenile Referee will determine whether the juvenile is “delinquent” or “not delinquent,” just as they would do in an adult hearing that involves a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict from a jury. However, there are no juries used in these types of hearings.

The Juvenile Referee will take recommendations from the law enforcement officer and the victim as to how the case should be decided. Nonetheless, the Referee has the ultimate decision-making power. He or she will then make a recommendation as to how the case should be resolved. That recommendation is then passed along to the Juvenile Judge for a final decision. Many times, the Juvenile Judge will use the advice of the Referee and defer to his or her judgment regarding any factual disputes, but not always.

Need a Lawyer for Morristown Juvenile Referee Hearing

The Juvenile Referee will ultimately recommend how the juvenile’s case should be handled. There are a wide variety of potential options that the Referee can suggest to the judge. For example, he or she may recommend dismissal, community service, fines, mental health evaluations, supervised probation, suspension of a driver’s license, and other more creative options.

Although a Juvenile Referee hearing is informal, it is still highly advisable to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you and your child obtain the best outcome. Presenting evidence and arguments in your son or daughter’s defense is a vital part of the process. The recommendations that the Referee makes are often used by the Juvenile Court, so getting it right the first time is very important. You certainly have a right to a lawyer in these proceedings and making that decision early in the process can help you be best prepared for what happens next. Call our Morris County Juvenile Defense Attorneys at (908) 336-5008 for more information on this unique juvenile process and find out how we can help you.

Arrested for Criminal Mischief in Morris County?

Help Charged Criminal Mischief Morris County need lawyer best defense
Criminal Mischief

Have you been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in Morris County? Do you need a lawyer to fight these charges in court? We can help. Here is a case we recently handled for a client with great success in Florham Park.

Our client was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in the 4th degree (for alleged damage to property over $500 but less than $2,000). He was also charged with disorderly persons offenses of simple assault and harassment. He has no prior criminal history and this was his first contact with the criminal justice system at 48 years old. He and his significant other had an argument where he allegedly damaged their television and threw the remote control at him. He also was charged with harassment for excessive phone calls after he left the house.

Because of the fourth degree felony charge, the case was scheduled for CJP court in Morristown. Any felony cases must be handled in the Superior Court as opposed to the Municipal Court. Luckily, our lawyers were able to convince the Morris County Prosecutor’s office to downgrade the felony criminal mischief offense to a disorderly persons (misdemeanor) charge and all the charges were then remanded back to the Florham Park Municipal Court for disposition.

The alleged victim in this matter did not want to proceed with the charges and wanted the case dismissed. Since he was the only witness to the alleged acts, the State could not prove the charges in court beyond a reasonable doubt without his testimony. As a result, the Judge and the prosecutor in Florham Park agreed to a carry order where the case is dismissed after 60 days as long as there are no other domestic violence calls to their residence. When we returned to court after to 60 days had passed, the charges were completely dismissed. Now, the client is filing an expedited expungement to have the arrest removed from his record as well.

Need lawyer for simple assault, harassment Florham Park?

If you or a loved one needs assistance with a criminal mischief, simple assault, or harassment charge in Morris County, contact us anytime for a free initial consultation.

The juvenile court system in New Jersey has a number of nuances that are provided as opportunities for minors who would otherwise enter the criminal justice system. The Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) is one such alternative venue for juvenile cases. The Committee will hear cases that do not go to the Superior Court, Family Division. Without this Committee, most cases involving minors could go straight to a Juvenile Judge. Instead, the Juvenile Conference Committee operates as a separate division of the Superior Court in every county in New Jersey.

Juveniles accused of minor offenses, who have either never been accused of a prior crime or they have one other conviction, may have the opportunity to go through the JCC instead of seeing a Juvenile Judge. Minor offenses (known as disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses) will generally include things like disorderly conduct, shoplifting (petty theft), trespassing, and criminal mischief.

What is a Juvenile Conference Committee in New Jersey?

The JCC includes six to nine citizens who volunteer to serve on the panel. They are appointed by the local Family Division Judge. These individuals will hear and decide matters involving juveniles who have been charged with committing criminal offenses. Each volunteer must go through training to sit as a member of the JCC in New Jersey.

If a juvenile is assigned to see the JCC, he or she will receive a notice in the mail for a conference. The notice will be addressed to the minor and his or her parents or guardians. The notice may also request that you bring specific information, including medical records and school reports. The victim or individual who complained about the minor’s actions will also be invited to attend. The parents or guardians and the alleged victim, if any, will also be invited to discuss the offense and related issues with the Committee. All JCC proceedings are confidential. That means that everything the minor (and the parents, guardians, and victims) says will be kept private.

Once the Committee has heard the evidence and charges, it will consider the facts presented to it, and make recommendations to a judge for a resolution.  The JCC will consider all aspects of the juvenile’s life in deciding what type of resolution is appropriate for the situation.

What are the Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Conference in NJ?

The focus of a Juvenile Conference Committee is on the rehabilitation of the minor. Any resolution will have the best interests of the child in mind—with an eye toward personal development and growth. In many situations, possible recommendations will include things like performing volunteer work, paying back any victim for damages or losses (fines), or mental health counseling. Creating apology letters or writing essays regarding the minor’s actions may also be potential punishments as well.

By law, a Juvenile Conference Committee is required to consider the following in all of its processes and in creating a resolution:

  • Providing balanced attention to the protection of the community;
  • The imposition of accountability for offenses committed;
  • Fostering interaction and dialogue between the offender, the victim, and the community as a whole; and
  • Development of competencies to help the minor become a responsible and productive member in the community.

One of the primary focuses of the JCC is to prevent future misconduct, which may include following up with the juvenile in the future as well.

Have a Juvenile Conference Committee Date?

Working through the JCC is generally beneficial for a minor when dealing with allegations of juvenile misconduct in New Jersey. However, it is a good idea to have an attorney who has experience with his unique process in order to ensure the best possible result for your child. An experienced New Jersey Juvenile Defense Lawyer will be able to craft a resolution that will be acceptable to the JCC and provide the most benefit for the juvenile involved to prevent permanent damage for the young person’s future. The attorneys at our firm provide this type of assistance for juveniles charged with offenses in Morris County and throughout New Jersey. Learn more about how we can help you by contacting our team at (908) 336-5008 or filling out an online form. We provide free consultations.

Stationhouse Adjustments in NJ Juvenile Cases

Morristown Juvenile Case AttorneyJuveniles are treated differently in the criminal justice system in New Jersey, and rightfully so. Children generally do not need the harsh treatment that adults receive through the criminal justice system. Instead, taking steps to focus on rehabilitation is much more critical for minors suspected of committing criminal offenses.

When a juvenile is taken into custody for doing something that would otherwise be a crime if an adult was engaging in the act, then law enforcement often has the option to decline to file a formal criminal complaint. Instead, they can conduct what is known as a “stationhouse adjustment.”

What is a Stationhouse Adjustment?

Police will sometimes decide to make a stationhouse adjustment instead of filing a formal criminal complaint against a juvenile in New Jersey. This process usually involves having a meeting with the minor, along with his or her parents (or guardian), and, in some cases, the victim of the alleged crime. This group of people will sit down and discuss the offense. The juvenile will also have to go through some kind of punishment for his or her behavior, such as doing community service, paying restitution, or writing an essay.

The idea behind a stationhouse adjustment is to teach the juvenile a lesson without forcing them to go through the criminal justice process, including the formal court appearance. It allows them to avoid having something on their criminal record as well. It is faster, easier, and includes immediate consequences for a juvenile’s actions. It may also service the victims of a particular types of offenses, such as those whose property was vandalized.

When Is a Stationhouse Adjustment an Option?

Stationhouse adjustments can only be used for certain types of offenses. These include things like petty disorderly persons offenses, disorderly person offenses, fourth-degree offenses if the juvenile has no prior record, and municipal ordinance violations. Officers will generally use stationhouse adjustments for minor crimes committed by first-time offenders. Some of the most common offenses include things like trespassing, shoplifting (petty theft), and disorderly conduct. Charges related to controlled substances, sex crimes, third-degree offenses, and violations of parole are not offenses where a stationhouse adjustment is appropriate or permitted.

When determining whether to use a stationhouse adjustment or file a formal criminal complaint, the officer involved will consider factors like the nature and seriousness of the offense, the age of the juvenile involved, and the cooperation of all of the parties involved. For example, if a victim was seriously harmed by the juvenile’s actions, then the officer may be less likely to use a stationhouse adjustment.

Officers can also use stationhouse adjustments when a juvenile is engaging in an activity that is not necessarily illegal, but it is dangerous to themselves or others or disruptive. The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has encouraged officers to use the stationhouse adjustment process as the first alternative to taking a juvenile into custody and making a formal charge. Police are permitted to use curbside warnings as a substitute as well.

How Does a Stationhouse Adjustment Work?

A juvenile officer will generally conduct the stationhouse adjustment. However, if one is not available, then the arresting officer or the detective can consult with the juvenile officer to sign off on the stationhouse adjustment as well. The officer will ask the juvenile, parent or guardian, and the victim to the police station to discuss the issue. If a victim does not agree to address the problem, then a stationhouse adjustment may not be possible.

Our team can work with you and your child to encourage that an officer use a stationhouse adjustment in certain circumstances. Contact The Tormey Law Firm for more information about how we can help you and your child if you are trying to maneuver through the juvenile justice system in New Jersey. Having an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney can be a helpful asset under these circumstances. Call (908) 336-5008 or send us an email for more information.