Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo 2024
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2024
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Badge - Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

September 2022 - Finding the Right Advocate for A Child in Trouble


Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our kids make questionable decisions. Dared by peers or enticed by internet challenges, they act without thought of the possible repercussions. Unfortunately, these decisions can have very serious consequences. It is imperative to retain an attorney experienced in juvenile matters to advocate for your child and protect their future.

When minors–defined under the law as those under age 18—get into serious trouble, they face legal consequences just like adults. In New Jersey, juvenile matters are handled at the Superior Court level, Family Division. If a juvenile is charged with certain serious crimes, that juvenile may be tried as an adult. A juvenile adjudication or a criminal conviction may adversely affect college and employment opportunities and subjects the juvenile to penal consequences such as probation, juvenile detention, and/or incarceration.

The law affords juveniles certain procedural safeguards in addition to the same constitutional rights as adults, including the right to due process, protection against unlawful searches and seizures, the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney. Although criminal punishment can include house arrest, community service, counseling, curfews, probation, and juvenile detention, the juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate the juvenile.

There are differences, however, in how juveniles are treated by the Superior Court level, Family Division:

  • Except when tried as an adult, juvenile offenses are adjudicated as delinquencies, not adult criminal convictions; and
  • Juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury; instead, their cases are heard and decided by a Superior Court Judge at the County level.

When exercising your child’s right to an attorney, it is important to retain one who is experienced in handling juvenile matters and understands the options unique to the juvenile system and available defenses to that particular juvenile’s case. The severity of the charges will have an impact on how the case is docketed within the Juvenile Justice System. An experienced juvenile defense attorney can protect your child’s rights and effectively advocate on their behalf in either Family or Superior Court.

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian