As you may know, there are repercussions for poor decisions, no matter your age. Unfortunately, children are more prone to making these mistakes than adults, and if your child is now facing legal penalties for an alleged delinquent act, our Cobb County juvenile crimes lawyer is ready to do everything in his power to fight for your child’s well-being. Contact the Miller Law Practice, LLC today to learn more about how we can help you and your child through every step of the legal process ahead.
Does My Child Need a Cobb County Juvenile Crimes Lawyer?
If your child has recently been accused of an unruly act or a delinquent act, you should strongly consider retaining the legal services of a knowledgeable Cobb County criminal defense lawyer who can fight on behalf of your child.
The Juvenile Justice System in Georgia
When a child under the age of 17 breaks the law in Georgia, it is generally not referred to as committing a crime. Instead, if the child breaks the law, it will either be considered an unruly act or a delinquent act. A delinquent act is one that would be considered a crime, had it been committed by an adult. Once a complaint is filed against the child, the Juvenile Court intake officer will determine whether the child should be detained. In most cases, as long as the unruly act or misdemeanor is the child’s first offense, the Court will generally handle the case informally, meaning that the child will not have to appear in front of a Judge, though the Judge will determine the outcome of your child’s case, which is why you need a skilled Cobb County juvenile crimes lawyer who can work to defend your child from such charges at this stage.
That being said, if your child’s case is not handled informally, the District Attorney’s Office will file a petition, and from here, the Court will schedule an arraignment hearing where the child will hear the specific charges he or she is facing. The child, along with his or her attorney, will enter a guilty or not guilty plea. If the child enters a not guilty plea, he or she will then attend an Adjudicatory hearing, which is similar to a trial, wherein witnesses and victims are required to appear and divulge the details of the alleged crime. From here, the Judge will either adjudicate the child as a delinquent or dismiss the petition. If a child either admits to the crime or is adjudicated delinquent, the child will then attend a Dispositional hearing, wherein the Judge will determine the child’s sentence.
Penalties for Juvenile Crimes in Georgia
If a child is found guilty, he or she may face a wide variety of penalties, including the following:
- Commitment to a Department of Juvenile Justice program
- Commitment to a detention facility
- Community service
- Supervision fees
- A driver’s license suspension
- Additional punishments that the Judge determines fair and proportionate
Can a Minor be Tried as an Adult in Georgia?
In certain cases, yes, a minor between the ages of 13-17 can be tried as an adult in Georgia. However, this is only if they are accused of committing a particularly heinous crime. Some of the crimes that may allow a juvenile to be prosecuted as an adult in Georgia are as follows:
- Aggravated Battery
- Aggravated Sexual Battery
- Armed Robbery
- Voluntary Manslaughter
Additionally, you should also note that your child may be tried as an adult if the prosecutor petitions the Superior Court. This generally only happens when a 15-year-old allegedly commits a crime that would be considered a felony if the alleged offender was an adult. That being said, if a juvenile is convicted in Superior Court, he or she will be committed to the Department of Corrections, not the Department of Juvenile Justice. Unfortunately, this means your child will be sentenced just as an adult would be.
Contact Our Cobb County Juvenile Crimes Lawyer
When a child is charged with a delinquent act, he or she has a lot on the line, and there is a very good chance that it may haunt them for the rest of their life. Contact the Miller Law Practice, LLC today so we can fight for your child to move on to a bright, productive future.