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New Jersey juvenile arrested for carjacking and robbery

It can be difficult for some to imagine a mere 16-year-old getting wrapped up in the criminal justice system. But juveniles make mistakes. When those mistakes are serious enough, children and teens can become part of a system that puts their futures at risk.

Police arrested a boy on Monday because they believe that he is responsible for what reports call a "carjacking and robbery spree" that's occurred in the last week. He is not the only suspect, as sources suggest that the thefts of various vehicles were a team effort.

Carjacking is more than theft of property. It is a first degree New Jersey charge that prosecutors attack seriously. To be charged with carjacking, a person must be suspected of not just taking a vehicle but using force or threat of force in order to do so.

In this case, authorities accuse the juvenile of not just carjacking but robbery as well. The teen's case involves the allegation that he used a gun at least once during a robbery. That point makes the case against the boy even more serious, as New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and is particularly tough on that issue due to recent violence in the nation.

The Star-Ledger doesn't disclose details about how the system plans on handling this case. Currently, the boy is in the custody of a juvenile detention center.

No matter what charge a kid might face, he should have aggressive criminal defense lawyers working for him. Juvenile defense isn't just about the present situation that a child is in; rather, it is about his future, a future that can be bright with an effective fight and a compassionate focus on his rehabilitation. Our New Jersey juvenile defense lawyers understand that.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "16 year old arrested for a string of carjackings and robberies in Newark, East Orange," Seth Augenstein, Jan. 29, 2013