Children make mistakes, but those mistakes can sometimes have far-reaching consequences that could affect them long into adulthood. These consequences may worsen if the act was committed on school grounds. A stupid crime that may not seem so serious in the eyes of a child may be perceived far differently by a disciplinary board or judge.
Whether your child is in grade school or high school, he or she could face suspension, expulsion and/or juvenile criminal charges if the crime committed is serious enough. In addition to that, you, the parent or guardian, may have to pay a fine or restitution if the crime resulted in property damage.
School-related crimes often adversely affect educational and professional aspirations, making it more likely that the child will commit additional crimes when he or she reaches adulthood. It is a dangerous cycle, and one that should be avoided at all costs. This is why it is so important to hire a juvenile criminal defense lawyer if your son or daughter has committed a crime in a school. A juvenile criminal defense lawyer can ensure your child’s rights are protected and work towards the best possible outcome for all parties involved. Call today for a free consultation at (609) 641-2266.
What Happens if Your Child Commits a Crime in an Atlantic City School?
The Atlantic City School District consists of eleven schools and serves thousands of students from pre-K through 12th grade. Atlantic City High School provides education services to students from Atlantic City, Brigantine, Longport, Margate, and Ventnor City. In addition to Atlantic City High School, there are nine elementary schools and one pre-K school in the Atlantic City School District.
Just as with every other school district in New Jersey, the Atlantic City School District has established student codes of conduct to facilitate a positive and safe learning environment. These student codes of conduct are bound by guidelines and requirements established by the New Jersey Department of Education as well as laws and regulations written by the United States Department of Education.
Common School Violations
The most common student-related charges and violations committed in Atlantic City schools include the following:
- Underage Drinking or Drug Use
- Drug Distribution
- Property Damage
- Bringing a Weapon to School
- Disorderly Conduct
Disciplinary Procedures and Punishment for Juvenile School Crimes
If a student violates a rule created by the Atlantic City School District, he or she is bound by the procedures created by the district. In some cases, the student may have to attend a Disciplinary Hearing where the case is heard and an outcome is determined by the evidence and a range of other factors. The following are factors that may affect how the Disciplinary Board chooses to proceed:
- Age of the Student
- Type and Severity of the Crime
- Student’s Previous Record and Grades
- Policy of the School
The school (whether it’s through an informal parental meeting or Disciplinary Hearing) will decide on a punishment based on its policies and procedures. The most common punishments for a crime committed by a student on school grounds include the following:
- Formal Warning
- Suspension from School
While a formal warning simply notifies the student about future consequences if the problem or behavioral issue persists, a suspension from school could last anywhere from a single day to an indefinite period. Expulsion from school means the student will no longer be allowed to enroll in that school. In addition to that, a student may face criminal prosecution as well. If your child is arrested and charged in family court, New Jersey law mandates that he or she be represented by a criminal defense attorney.
Making Sure One Mistake Doesn’t Turn into Many More
There’s no question that children are more likely to make mistakes as they learn how to engage socially and academically. They may take a wrong turn, but this doesn’t mean they should be subject to lifelong consequences. Most children will mature and go on to be valuable members of society. In many cases, a single infraction is just a hiccup in that process.
Our Atlantic City Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help
You should hire an attorney with experience working with juveniles and arguing cases in the juvenile courts of New Jersey. Schools are bound by specific rules and regulations and must afford students proper due process. Any prospective juvenile criminal defense attorney should be familiar with these rules and regulations to provide your child with a proper defense. It’s usually best if the attorney has a focused practice on juvenile criminal defense if at all possible.
Our criminal defense lawyers can make sure your child’s rights are protected and the school acts in accordance with the law. Having proper representation can also ensure your child has the best possible defense. If your child committed a crime in an Atlantic City school and you need legal assistance, contact our law firm at (609) 641-2266 for a free consultation today.