New Brunswick Juvenile Sentenced for Aggravated Assault
A New Brunswick teenager was recently sentenced to 6 years for aggravated assault in Middlesex County Family Court. The charges arose from an incident involving three victims who were injured while the juvenile defendant was driving under the influence (DUI).
According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, New Brunswick resident Karla Mejia, now 18, was sentenced to serve an aggregate sentence of 6-years, or two 3-year sentences. The sentence came after Mejia pleaded guilty to conduct which, if committed by an adult, would constitute aggravated assault.
He was originally charged with several counts of second-degree aggravated assault after an incident that occurred on May 12, 2017 in North Brunswick. Mejia, who was 17 at the time, reportedly drove under the influence with two other minors in his vehicle before causing a head-on collision that left three injured. The two passengers in the car and the other driver received medical care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Two of the victims were said to have suffered serious bodily injury.
Due to his age at the time of the car crash, Mejia’s case was adjudicated in the Family Division of Middlesex County Superior Court under the guidelines of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice System. This is an important distinction, as the rules and procedures of juvenile court are far different from those in adult criminal court. Primarily, the focus of juvenile justice is to rehabilitate and reform juvenile offenders.
As a result, a juvenile is not convicted but instead is adjudicated delinquent. If he or she pleads guilty, it is to juvenile delinquency for conduct that way constitute a crime if committed by an adult. While adults often receive much harsher sentences, juveniles are often provided with lesser sentences and alternative sentencing options. The intention is to prevent future criminal behavior, not to impose punishment that derails a minor for the rest of their life.
Consider the situation in this case: an adult convicted on two counts of second-degree aggravated assault faces up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. Each count of a second degree crime in New Jersey is punishable by up to 10 years. Thus, if the sentences are to be served consecutively (one must be completed before the next begins), a person could spend 20 years incarcerated. This juvenile defendant was sentenced to 6 years under the supervision of the Juvenile Justice Commission, illustrating the approach to underage individuals adjudicated delinquent in New Jersey.
New Brunswick NJ Juvenile Defense Lawyers
If your child is facing juvenile charges in New Brunswick or elsewhere in Middlesex County, New Jersey, you can position them for the best chance of a successful outcome by enlisting an experienced NJ juvenile defense attorney. At our law firm, we concentrate on criminal defense for juveniles and adults across New Jersey and we are fully prepared to advocate for your child. To discuss the specific juvenile case you are dealing with, contact our offices at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation or reach out online. One of our juvenile lawyers is available immediately to assist you.
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Teenager sentenced for aggravated assault