The inability to protect one’s child is one of a parent’s greatest fears. However, there comes a time when every parent needs help, and this help may come in the form of an Atlanta juvenile crimes lawyer.
Experienced Atlanta defense attorneys are available to assist minors– usually those aged 13 to 16– who have been charged with a crime, along with their caregivers. While Georgia may apply different laws and penalties to children, one should not underestimate the severity of a juvenile criminal charge.
Beyond the potential for juvenile detention, records of a conviction can impact a child’s future, including their ability to be accepted to a school or to get a job. Skilled juvenile crimes attorneys in Atlanta work aggressively to fight the ramifications of a conviction, which may otherwise echo into a child’s future.
Types of Juvenile Crimes
Atlanta youth crimes attorneys have years of experience fighting an array of charges. They understand that there is an extra layer of complexity and emotional strain for the minors involved and their caregivers. Some of the common criminal charges handled include:
- Underage drinking
- Use of false identification
- Underage or unlicensed driving
- Drug possession
These are simply a few of the juvenile cases Atlanta juvenile crimes lawyers see on a regular basis. Regardless of the charges, we are here to work on behalf of your family.
Most judges recognize that children often lack the foresight or understanding of consequences adults are expected to employ. Many neurological studies, in fact, support this. Judges are also reluctant to create too severe a negative impact on a child’s future. Thus, different rules may apply in juvenile court. One main difference to typical courts is the lack of a jury at youth trials, which is meant to mitigate some of the biases and intimidation that may otherwise occur.
By and large, the courts are less willing to try or punish children as adults would be for the same crimes. The timeframe and manner in which juveniles may be punished depends on their designation. Georgia Juvenile offenders are designated into three classes, unruly or delinquent child, child felon sentenced as an adult, and child repeat felony offender.
Unruly or Delinquent Child
The child has committed a “delinquent” act (a non-felony) such as alcohol possession or disobeying court ordered supervision.
Child Felon Sentenced as Adult
The child has committed a felony. According to Georgia Code, a “designated felony act” means an act which constitutes a second or subsequent offense if committed by a child 13 to 17 years of age, or if done by an adult, would be one or more of the following crimes:
- Kidnapping or arson in the first degree, if done by a child 13 or more years of age
- Aggravated assault, arson in the second degree, aggravated battery, robbery, armed robbery not involving a firearm, or battery, if the victim is a teacher or other school personnel, if done by a child 13 or more years of age
- Attempted murder or attempted kidnapping, if done by a child 13 or more years of age
- Hijacking a motor vehicle, if done by a child 13 or more years of age
- Any other act which, if done by an adult, would be a felony, if the child committing the act has three times previously been adjudicated delinquent for acts which, if done by an adult, would have been felonies
- Any violation of crimes relating to trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, or methamphetamine
- Any criminal violation relating to racketeering
- Any violation relating to escape, if the child involved in the commission of such act has been previously adjudicated to have committed a designated felony
Child Repeat Felony Offender
Children who commit additional violations can be taken into custody by the Department of Corrections.
While these outlines appear simple, they are not in fact always clear cut. For this reason, it would behoove someone to speak with an Atlanta juvenile crimes lawyer, the moment any child in their care is charged.
Working with an Atlanta Juvenile Crimes Attorney
Children make mistakes. Whether this mistake was simply being in the wrong place or the wrong time, or acting rashly and unlawfully, the mistake does not have to define a child’s future.
Working with an Atlanta juvenile crimes lawyer is a way to secure a better outcome for your child. Speak to skilled Atlanta attorneys today, and they will help reclaim your child’s future.