What to Know When Facing Juvenile Charges in Georgia
What Makes Us Different
Understanding Georgia Juvenile Charges
A bad action does not make a bad child. However, studies show that juvenile detention significantly lowers a child’s chance of graduating high school and can increase their chances of adult criminal detention by 41 percent.
We know that Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County parents want what’s best for their children. And, as a person who was wrongfully arrested, Mr. Kim knows the fear and worry you and your child are feeling.
If your child is facing juvenile charges, we can put together a strong defense strategy to keep your child from Georgia juvenile detention and protect their future. Our Georgia Juvenile Attorney has the compassion, experience, and skills to defend your child in court. We treat every case urgently because we know how much is at stake.
What Is the Juvenile Justice System?
The juvenile justice system is different from the adult criminal justice system. Georgia juvenile courts focus on rehabilitating young offenders and helping them become productive members of society. The goal is not to punish them but to help them learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future.
Adults in Georgia who commit criminal offenses face criminal prosecution and penalties. For criminal prosecution, an adult is a person at the age of 17. On the other hand, the Georgia juvenile justice system addresses alleged criminal conduct by persons at that age or younger.
However, Georgia juvenile laws are different from other criminal laws because they try to balance between punishment and sentencing options that promote rehabilitation. It also protects minors from the adult criminal justice system and their harsh punishment.
The state agency that manages matters involving juvenile offenders and serves the state’s youthful offenders up to age 21 is the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. However, if juveniles are accused of horrific or highly egregious crimes, they may be tried as adults, especially between 13 and 17 years of age.
What Can You Expect from the Juvenile Court Process?
After arresting an alleged delinquent child, it is determined whether they will be detained into restrictive custody (Regional Youth Detention Center) or released to a parent or guardian pending a hearing.
The detention hearing is the juvenile’s first appearance before the juvenile court judge. At that time, the juvenile court will inform the minor of the nature of the proceeding, possible consequences, and the child’s due rights, among other things.
At the adjudication hearing, the juvenile can deny or admit the delinquent act they are accused of. The prosecuting attorney has the burden of proof, meaning the state has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Georgia Juvenile court process is an extremely specific area that requires knowledge of both the Juvenile Code and Georgia Criminal Law. Cases involving juveniles alleged to have committed serious felony or misdemeanor offenses should hire a qualified Georgia Juvenile court attorney. However, it’s better to hire an attorney skilled in Juvenile law than one who handles only adult cases.
What Are the Possible Outcomes of a Juvenile Case?
The judge will determine the disposition after a juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent. The following are some likely scenarios:
- Community service
- Participation in rehabilitation programs
- Restitution to victims
- House arrest
Since Georgia primarily aims to rehabilitate juveniles, detention is usually a last resort for minor offenders. However, it does occur in more severe cases.
A Parent Isn’t Enough; You Need a Qualified Juvenile Court Attorney
If your child is facing criminal charges, the best way to protect them is to hire a diligent defense lawyer. At Philip Kim Law, P.C., we know your child isn’t bad. Mistakes happen. Whether the best option for your family is diversion, counseling, or another option, we’ll stand by your family to help get the best outcome possible for you.
Some of the common juvenile crimes that we handle include:
- Shoplifting or theft-related matters
- Drug possession, whether marijuana or prescription drugs passed around
- Underage alcohol consumption
We can work with you to ensure that any improperly collected evidence is excluded from court, any statements your child may have said to the police without you or another guardian are treated properly, and the Juvenile Court considers extenuating circumstances like family upheaval or problems at school.
If your child is tried as an adult or has committed a crime that lasts on their adult criminal record, we are prepared to help get that information expunged or sealed by the court. One mistake shouldn’t follow a child forever.
Let Us Help Your Family — Your Rights Are Our Priority
Before you or your child talk to the police, you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer. The sooner we can get involved, the better. Our top employment is to protect your rights under Georgia law and ensure you’re treated fairly.
We have a strong reputation in Gwinnett County Juvenile Court and beyond for representing minors accused of various crimes, from traffic offenses (including DUI) to serious felonies. When facing juvenile charges in Georgia, state courts are complex, and you need an expert to help you navigate the legal complexities. That’s where we come in.
We’ll fight for your child’s innocence or ensure any punishment is as fair and reasonable as possible. When you work with us, you can trust that we’ll take the time to explain your rights and defend them aggressively.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Georgia juvenile attorney who knows how to protect minors from the harsh consequences of the state justice system. Call us now at (678) 203-8558 or email us.