The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Juvenile Unit prosecutes acts of juvenile delinquency in the Family Court. Juvenile delinquency is considered any “crimes or offenses” committed by a person under the age of 18. The acts of delinquency range from disorderly conduct and theft to aggravated assault, robbery, sexual assault, and homicide. The Juvenile Unit receives juvenile delinquency complaints filed by the local municipal police departments or by another unit of the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor.
The Juvenile Unit consists of a Team Leader, Assistant Prosecutors, investigative staff, support staff and victim/witness advocates.
The Team Leader reviews every complaint to determine whether the case should be placed on the court mandatory counsel list or referred to a diversionary program. The Team Leader supervises the Assistant Prosecutors and the administrative functions of the unit. The Team Leader also serves as a legal advisor to all juvenile officers in the municipal departments throughout Hudson County. Additionally, the Team Leader participates in the local Juvenile Justice System Improvement Committees with other juvenile stakeholders to improve the juvenile justice system for youth in Hudson County.
The Assistant Prosecutors handle all stages of a case including: initial detention hearings, probable cause hearings, case management conferences, plea negotiations, motion practice and trials. Assistant Prosecutors prepare their cases at all stages by reviewing and analyzing the complaints, reports, and evidence, and by meeting with victims and witnesses.
The investigative staff performs all traditional functions including: preparing complaints, locating witnesses and victims, taking sworn statements, and preparing and conducting photo arrays. Agents obtain all reports and prepare discovery for court proceedings. The Detective and Agent also retrieve evidence from police municipalities. Both the Detective and Agent assist assistant prosecutors in preparing a case for prosecution.
The support staff processes complaints and maintains the unit’s files at all stages of the proceedings. They also prepare subpoenas and transcribe recorded statements. The support staff also manages the data system and closed file system.
The Juvenile Unit is assisted by a Victim/Witness Advocate to assist the victims of juvenile crimes and safeguard victim’s rights in Family Court. One of the Advocate’s responsibilities is to notify victims of the status and disposition of their case. Victims of juvenile crimes have the same rights as they do in adult court. A victim or member of the victim’s immediate family is entitled to receive information regarding the case including: the identity of the juvenile, the offense charged, the diversionary program or adjudication and disposition. The victim also has a right to make recommendations about the disposition of the complaint, including objecting to diversion. Victims also have a right to make a statement before the judge before final disposition of the case. For more information on victim’s rights and list of services, please see the Victim/Witness section of this website.
Any questions regarding the Juvenile Justice System may be directed to the Juvenile Team Leader, Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Ledoux, at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (201) 795-6541.