How to Protect a Minor Charged With Vandalism

Friday, December 13th, 2013

When a minor is caught in the act of vandalism, it can be brushed under the rug as “kids being kids,” but consequences can be severe. If your child has been charged with vandalism, they can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Of course, this depends on how much damage was caused. But, before we move on, what exactly is considered vandalism?

I’m glad you asked. This can be defacing a property—car, house, school, building, or public space—destroying the property of a library, either books or videos, egging or throwing stones at building or houses, destroying gravestones, publicly displaying art like graffiti that is defacing to the property, or even smashing mailboxes on a joy ride.

Teenagers are known for taking part in activities without weighing the pros and cons of the situation. Keying a car is the perfect example of vandalism done by today’s youth that occurs without thinking of possible repercussions. Even an act as simple as creating and displaying art in public places—graffiti—can result in a vandalism charge. Often times, a juvenile will lash out in an act of defiance against a school, property, or building, defacing it and putting their future in limbo.

Not only will those charged with vandalism have to pay for the damages they caused, if not more, but they are expected to appear in court as well. This is where the protection aspect comes in and the wheels are set in motion to ensure your future is still intact without having to check the “criminal record” box, providing a brief explanation on college and job applications. In these tough economic times, the job availability is scarce and with the competition, employers will skip right over the resume with a criminal record.

If properly represented in New Jersey, your child can be issued a Pretrial Intervention Program. This will allow a minor’s record to be wiped clean of the vandalism offense after their probation is served. This can be obtained for first time offenders much easier than it could be for a repeat offender.

We can help you or your child with a vandalism case, guiding you through the legal process and protecting your future.

Worst Month of the Year to Sell a Home: December

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

If you are just listing your home this fall/winter, then don’t have any high expectations for selling it quickly.  December is notoriously the worst month of the year to sell a home.

Most people would not want to move during the holidays, so they probably aren’t actively looking either.  Homeowners are thinking about decorating their home for the holidays and are focused on time spent with friends and family, not packing up and moving.  Plus, most people don’t love moving in the bitterly cold weather.  The second worst month of the year to sell a home is September.  If the family has kids, they want to have them settled into the new school system for the beginning of the school year.  This is what also makes the spring the most popular time to sell a home.  If a buyer purchases a home in the spring, by the time they have settlement, it will be summer and the kids will be out of school, having as little impact as possible on their transition to a new school.

On the flip side, if you are the buyer and in the market for a new home, you will have less competition and will probably come across some antsy sellers that need to sell their home.  So if you are really looking to purchase in December, then you may be able to come across some great deals and the sellers may be more prone to negotiating.  Either way, it’s always important to be represented by a lawyer that specializes in real estate transactions.  There are many circumstances that can unfortunately occur on either side of the process during the closing so make sure you are represented (especially on the day of closing).  Contact Charles Block today for more information.