When a child breaks the law, the future that lies ahead often becomes uncertain. If your child is arrested in the state of Georgia, he or she has the right to an attorney at every stage in the juvenile process. You as the parent have the right to know exactly what charges your child is facing and what evidence the state has to prove those charges. However, you should be aware of the fact that juvenile court and adult court are very different. In juvenile court, the judge tries to determine why your child is there, why your child has been accused of committing crimes, and the judge is trying to put things in place to keep your child from committing crimes or being accused of committing crimes once they become an adult.
Juvenile matters are often resolved in what we call non-trial disposition. In a non-trial disposition, the judge could order the child to have counseling or to be involved in special programs that are often offered through the child’s school. If in fact, your child is not qualified for non-trial disposition, then your child will be entitled to a hearing just as if they were an adult.
There are a few differences between these cases and adult cases that parents and juveniles alike should be aware of. A juvenile trial is not heard by a jury but is instead adjudicated by a judge. At the adjudicatory hearing, the judge will assess all evidence that the prosecution brings as well as the defense from the other side. The judge will be responsible for determining whether the juvenile is guilty of the crimes of which they have been accused.
In very serious crimes, the judge may order your child to be removed from the home and placed in a juvenile detention program. There are certain crimes that warrant the juvenile being passed up to superior court with the Department of Corrections. This applies to what is known as the Seven Deadly Sins, and they include murder, armed robbery with a firearm, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, and rape.
If your child has been charged with a crime, please do not hesitate to contact our firm as soon as possible so we can fight for your child’s future.
Alfred Law Firm, LLC is proud to serve clients in Georgia when they face legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. When legal issues arise, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced attorney that can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.