In a recent post we discussed the juvenile criminal charges which were filed in connection with a large New Year’s Eve party. Although the charges in that case were mostly for underage drinking, many New Jersey teens often face much more serious charges for youthful indiscretions.

One 17-year-old Randolph resident pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and assault yesterday. Authorities say that the teen ran a red light while speeding when he hit and killed a Dover man. The teen was sentenced to three years at the New Jersey Training School for Boys. The school, also known as Jamesburg, is a juvenile detention facility which juvenile offenders are often sent to until they turn the age of 21.

The accident occurred last fall when the teen ran a light at the intersection of Route 46 and Perry Street. The teen has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in connection with this accident and doesn’t remember everything about the incident. The teen did say however that he would not dispute a witness account that he ran the light. The 58-year-old driver of the second car was killed and his 28-year-old son suffered non-life threatening injuries which form the basis of the teen’s assault charge.

It should be noted that the goal of the juvenile criminal justice system is to rehabilitate youthful offenders and not to punish them. The teen may spend the next three years of his life in a juvenile lockdown facility, but his sentence is significantly lighter than what he could have received if he had been charged as an adult.

Adults who are convicted of second-degree vehicular homicide and vehicular assault could face around 12 years in state prison.

Source: Daily Record, “Randolph teen pleads guilty in Dover crash that killed newspaper worker,” Peggy Wright, Jan. 27, 2012