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.
A juvenile delinquent is a minor, generally between the ages of 10 and 18, who commits an illegal act like underage drinking or shoplifting. Instead of a trial, juveniles receive an "adjudication" and a "disposition." It is after the disposition that the juvenile is sentenced. Juvenile crimes fall into one of two categories. The fist involves crimes that would be considered criminal acts if they were committed by an adult. The second category involves "age-related" crimes. Both can have serious consequences.
Whether an offender is a juvenile or an adult, law enforcers in New Jersey take violent crime seriously.