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What Does Adjudicated Delinquent Mean?

what does adjudicated delinquent mean

Here at The Law Offices of Mark Catanzaro, we defend all sorts of cases. This includes juvenile cases. Today, we’re beginning a new series of blogs on juvenile cases, and how they differ from adult cases. In New Jersey, any individual under the age of eighteen is considered a juvenile. Therefore, they’re subject to exceptions for waiver, and will be dealt with in a separate court with separate rules. It’s important to understand these different rules and procedures in order to defend the case. One of these differences appears in the phrase “adjudicated delinquent.” Today, we’ll answer what does adjudicated delinquent mean, and talk about what it could mean for you.

What Does Adjudicated Delinquent Mean?

First, let’s define the term. In an adult criminal case, if the adult is found guilty of the crime, they are “convicted.” The jury renders their verdict and the judge formally declares that the defendant is convicted of the crime. However, in juvenile cases, no one gets “convicted.” Rather, they use the term “adjudicated delinquent.” Now, is this just a word game? What’s the real difference?

In our courts, someone convicted of a crime needs to be punished. However, someone who’s adjudicated needs rehabilitation; they need help. That’s why adults face a sentencing, but juveniles face a disposition. The disposition will involve other things besides punishment.

What Does Adjudicated Delinquent Mean for You?

Second, how might all this be relevant? Like we just mentioned, a disposition will involve other things besides punishment. It could include:

  • Court-mandated therapy
  • Drug rehabilitation (if relevant)
  • Admission into various education programs
  • Community service
  • Residential rehabilitation like a group home

Now, sometimes these things are included in adult sentencing. But again, the difference here is that prison time is not one of the possible consequences. The assumption here is that adults have more responsibility for their actions as adults, and understand themselves better than a juvenile.

Attorney Mark Catanzaro Takes Juvenile Cases!

Finally, if you’re facing criminal charges as a juvenile, where can you turn? Who can you trust? Look no further than Mark Catanzaro. He has the experience and dauntlessness to defend your case. So contact him today!


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