Kids make mistakes, there's no question about it. There is a question, however, as to how long individuals should have to carry the burden of the criminal offenses they committed when they were juveniles.
Until recently, juveniles saddled with the legal burdens of past offenses had little recourse for managing the legal strangle that resulted from certain drug offenses or “false alarm” crimes. Fortunately, New Jersey recently passed a law that will help people move on from youthful errors in judgment.
S3319 Eliminates Certain Costs for Juvenile Offenses
When a person is charged with a crime, they're required to pay more than just the fine associated with the wrongful act. They must also pay a variety of court costs and fees associated with the administration of the New Jersey justice system. A few examples of these costs include:
- Costs to fund AIDS testing in certain scenarios
- Counseling and recovery programs meant to rehabilitate the juvenile
- Fees needed for forensic testing
These costs add up and can easily total thousands of dollars. If you or someone you love must endure the juvenile criminal justice system, the last thing you need is the added stress and psychological trauma of being nickel and dimed. The issue isn't even always about the cost itself, but rather it's a matter of fairness.
Governor Murphy has finally done something about this overreach by signing into law S3319, which eliminates many of these costs for juvenile offenders. Not only does the new law prohibit juvenile courts from imposing these hefty financial penalties, but S3319 also discharges outstanding debts still carried by some.
For those who've carried the financial debt of juvenile offenses, S3319 does more than add money back to your bank account. For example, an individual isn't eligible for expungement of their criminal record until all fees and penalties associated with criminal proceedings have been paid. The new law offers a quicker road to expungement eligibility. A faster resolution generally leads to a quicker adherence to walking the right path.
Speak With an Experienced New Jersey Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
While the new law will help those accused of certain juvenile offenses move forward more quickly in life, it won't completely absolve them of the crime they were convicted of. In some cases, it may be necessary to file for expungement of crimes to fully clear the record. If you or someone you love needs to move forward after mistakes made as a juvenile, call attorney Joseph D. Lento right away. Attorney Lento is a dedicated defense attorney with years of experience helping his clients get their lives back on track. To learn how he and his experienced team can help you, call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-6386 today.