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New Jersey children have their whole lives in front of them. They have opportunities that many adults cannot participate in. However, children are prone to making mistakes as they grow into adults. Many children -- particularly teenagers -- are trying to discover who they are and make poor decisions along the way. Some of these mistakes may only get the teenager in trouble at school or home, however, others are much more serious. When children do illegal things, they can be subject to criminal sanctions and charged with juvenile crimes.

Recently in New Jersey, a 16-year-old was arrested on drug charges. According to police, the 16-year-old and a 22-year-old man were found in a New Jersey residence with marijuana. Police claim that a search of the residence led to police finding $8,500, a digital scale and 10.5 ounces of marijuana.

Following the search, the juvenile was taken to a juvenile detention center. The 16-year-old has been charged with possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. These are the same charges that the 22-year-old adult faces in the case.

Drug charges can have very real long-term consequences for juvenile offenders in New Jersey. Without the right help, these charges can affect these individuals for years to come. Even marijuana charges are taken seriously and are subject to aggressive prosecution. However, it is important to remember that juveniles have a lot to protect -- including their constitutional rights. By taking steps to protect these rights from the beginning of a case, juveniles have the opportunity to move forward with their lives.

Source: Register-News, "BORDENTOWN: Five arrested in recent drug busts," James McEvoy, Feb. 28, 2014

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