James M. Porfido, Attorney at Law, LLC

Morristown Criminal Defense Law Blog

Did peer pressure lead to pressing problems for your child?

Many New Jersey adults say they wish they could turn back the hands of time to their teenage years. Others claim they'd never want to re-live their youth. Those in the latter group often cite tremendous negative peer pressure as a main deterrent in their lack of desire to be young again. Regardless to which category you belong, if you're a parent of a child over the age of 12 but under age 21, you likely understand how challenging life can be for young people today.

There are many types of peer pressure. Some are actually positive, while others can not only negatively affect a young person's emotional well-being, but can also lead to dangerous behaviors that may cause physical harm or result in trouble with the law. Understanding both types of pressure may help you provide tools for your child to overcome temptations associated with negative forms of influence within a circle of friends.

Minor in possession: Help your child defend against charges

As a parent, your children likely bring considerable joy to your life. Of course, this joy likely also came coupled with an insurmountable worry for your children's wellbeing and safety. Because you cannot constantly monitor their every move, your children will undoubtedly land themselves in some sort of trouble at some point in their lives. Though discipline also comes along with parenthood, you may feel more out of your element if one of your children faces criminal charges.

One of the most common situations teenagers end up in involves underage alcohol possession. Though you did your best to instill a sense of responsibility in your child when it comes to alcohol, making mistakes comes with growing up. If your child has minor in possession, or MIP, charges brought against him or her, you may want to understand the situation to the best of your ability.

Caution: Spring break just ahead!

You've been waiting for this time of year since you started your first semester on campus in New Jersey. Soon, you'll be living it up with your friends, far away from textbooks, lectures, tests and the other pressures of college life. Spring break serves as a welcome diversion for thousands of college students across the nation, and for many merchants as well, whose businesses pick up steam when groups of hungry and thirsty young adults patronize their establishments.

Since your long-awaited vacation only lasts a week or so, you'll probably want to cram in as much fun in as possible. Nothing can bring vacation fun to a halt like a motor vehicle accident or trouble with the law. If you're in an accident, you or someone you know could be badly injured. If you get arrested, you'll have to call home and tell your parents you're in jail. Either scenario could ruin your idea of a good time.

Breakthrough in juvenile sentencing brings hope to families

Do you remember holding your child's hand while you crossed the street or helping your child put on mittens when the weather turned cold? You may never have imagined that those same hands would be handcuffed as a police officer led your child away. Now you have learned that, because of the violent nature of the crime, you child may be facing the rest of his or her life in prison if convicted.

4 sources of DNA contamination

DNA has long been touted as the be all end all of evidence in criminal cases. Its seeming objectivity and foolproof nature has often discouraged any critique that may suggest otherwise, but as often happens, the criminal justice system has revealed it to be far less flawless than one might assume. According to New Scientist Magazine, some practices have even led to an increase in errors. These four sources of contamination show that DNA doesn't have the final say when it comes to criminal charges. 

Juvenile brains and criminal behavior

When young people get into trouble, there is no shortage of blame to go around. Law enforcement will often blame parents, the kid will likely make excuses and the cycle could go on endlessly without any answers being found. What really causes juveniles to engage in criminal behavior? Professionals could answer this question in a number of ways, but in short, teens' stage of mental development can make impulse control difficult if not impossible. To better understand this, consider the following three facts about young people and their vulnerability to impulse. 

Preventing party guests from driving drunk

Everybody loves parties, and alcohol is always a great way to loosen up and have fun. When you are a host, you want to ensure that your guests are having a good time. At the end of the evening, though, you may have to handle the affairs of guests who drank a little too much. If they have expressed plans to drive home, but you know that they are drunk, it is your responsibility to prevent them from taking action that could be dangerous. 

Don't ignore underlying issues of alcohol or drug use

As a parent, you would do anything to protect your child. You've invested all your love, hopes and dreams into their happiness, well-being and future. When a teen slips into drug and alcohol abuse, there's a sense of panic and a rush to fix it.

Since most parents are not psychologists or attorneys, they can only do so much or feel helpless at some point. Things like grounding your kid or rifling through their belongings looking for paraphernalia are a good start, but are they just a Band-Aid for a deeper problem? How do you know?

Lawyer up--what parents need to teach their kids

Which one of us can truly say we didn't get into some kind of shenanigans when we were a kid? Whether it was ditching school or tormenting our siblings, few of us escaped childhood without getting into some kind of trouble.

But there's trouble--and then there's Trouble: the kind where the law gets involved. Drinking underage, drinking and driving underage, using drugs, selling drugs--the simple truth is that youth can be a time when decision making skills are more than a little "off-line." Studies have shown that the human brain is not fully developed until well into a person's 20s. Impulse control is dodgy at best, and chaos can ensue. What do you do with a kid who is skirting the end of risky behavior?

Lawyer up--what parents need to teach their kids

Which one of us can truly say we didn't get into some kind of shenanigans when we were a kid? Whether it was ditching school or tormenting our siblings, few of us escaped childhood without getting into some kind of trouble.

But there's trouble--and then there's trouble: the kind where the law gets involved. Drinking underage, drinking and driving underage, using drugs, selling drugs--the simple truth is that youth can be a time when decision making skills are more than a little "off-line." Studies have shown that the human brain is not fully developed until well into a person's 20s. Impulse control is dodgy at best, and chaos can ensue. What do you do with a kid who is skirting the end of risky behavior?

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James M. Porfido, Attorney at Law, LLC
23 Cattano Avenue
At Chancery Square
Morristown, NJ 07960

Toll Free: 877-760-4138
Phone: 973-828-0811
Fax: 973-683-1147
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