Children have different rights and obligations under the law than adults. In New Jersey, the law recognizes that children, or juveniles, are still developing, and until they reach adult age they must comply with laws that are slightly different than those which apply to adults. One of the legal duties that the law imposes on a juvenile, a person under the age of 19, is the requirement to attend school on all days it is in session. A child who does not attend school on a regular basis is considered truant. Truancy is a juvenile offense that can lead to various consequences for the juvenile as well as his or her parents or legal guardian. In New Jersey, a student in not considered truant until he or she misses a specified number of school days without a valid excuse. Even if a child is habitually absent from school, the child is not truant unless those absences occur without the permission of the child’s parent or legal guardian. When a child is truant, the child’s parent or legal guardian is notified by the school or a truant official. Thereafter, a meeting may take place among the parent or legal guardian and a school official. Sometimes, a legal proceeding is commenced by the school at the juvenile court. When a juvenile violates a law, the juvenile is dealt with through the juvenile justice system and not the criminal justice system. A child may be sent before a juvenile court after the school’s efforts to reduce truancy have failed. Once before a juvenile judge, the court holds a hearing and can, upon finding the child truant, impose a range of penalties. It is important to be represented by competent counsel during this process.

A Firm With Local Roots We Know the Local System

New Jersey’s laws will be the same no matter where you are in the state. However, different judges apply laws differently, and different regions have different “trends” when it comes to interpreting the law. It is important that your attorney understands the local legal landscape just as well as he or she understands the law. We know local judges and prosecutors, and they know us. We can help you navigate this unique legal system.

Contact The Moriarty Law Firm – West Long Branch New Jersey Office

If you or someone you know is dealing with defending truancy charges in New Jersey, please contact The Moriarty Law Firm via email or by telephone at (732) 842-7773 for further guidance. Initial consultations are always free.

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