Defending the Rights Of Your Child in a Juvenile Crime Case
Children make mistakes. Most parents’ worst fear is to find out that their child is being charged with a crime. Whether the crime is a minor infraction or considered a felony in an adult court case, a child needs to have proper representation. The Alfred Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense law firm. As parents ourselves, we recognize the stress parents endure when their children face serious consequences in the juvenile system, especially when the charges are serious enough to upgrade the case to adult consequences. We are zealous professionals ready to defend the rights of your child by exploring all applicable defenses and working tirelessly for a positive conclusion. Every case is different. It is important to reach out before it is too late. Contact the Alfred Law Firm for a consultation.
How Georgia handles juvenile cases
Children between the ages of 13 and 17 are considered juveniles. Crimes committed by juveniles are typically handled in juvenile court and are adjudicated by judges, not juries. The goal of these cases is to hold the child accountable, protect the public, and help the child rehabilitate. The judge will listen to the evidence presented by the prosecution and defense and will determine the innocence or guilt of the minor as well as the sentencing. Some delinquency acts deem a juvenile as a “child in need of services”, including truancy, running away from home, loitering late at night, and patronizing a bar without a parent or guardian.
Other acts are more serious matters that can constitute the need for imprisonment in a youth prison. These crimes are categorized as Class A and Class B designated felonies. The difference between the two is the seriousness of the crime and the potential punishment. Class A designated felonies include serious crimes like kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, arson, attempted murder, and others. Class A designated felony conviction can subject a child to up to 60 months in Department of Juvenile Justice custody. Class B felonies are less serious and include battery, robbery, arson in the second degree, attempted kidnapping and more. This category can subject a child to an initial period of detention not to exceed 36 months.
The Seven Deadly Sins
State bill 440 changed the way Georgia handled certain crimes committed by juveniles. While most acts are heard in juvenile court, there were certain acts that should be heard in superior court. These crimes can send a child into the custody of the Department of Corrections instead of the Department of Juvenile Justice. These crimes are called the seven deadly sins and include:
- Armed robbery with a firearm
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Aggravated sodomy
- Aggravated child molestation
This law set precedent that these cases will be automatically transferred to superior court for the child to be charged as an adult. The child could be punished with a loss of life, life in prison without parole, life confinement in a penal institution.
Contact an experienced juvenile crime attorney
If your child is arrested or detained for a crime, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. As a parent, knowing where to turn in your child’s time of need can be stressful. The Alfred Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense law firm. We are ready to assess your child’s legal situation and guide you through the process as we zealously represent your child. For a consultation, contact the Alfred Law Firm today.