Crimes are committed by people of any age. Like all other people, children can commit crimes and be subject to the consequences of doing so. In the state of Georgia, children between the ages of 13 and 17 are considered juveniles. In the event that a child commits a crime, they can face a juvenile case. It is important to have an experienced attorney on their team to help reach a positive conclusion for the child.
When a crime is committed by a juvenile, it is usually handled in juvenile court. These cases are adjudicated by judges instead of juries. They exist to hold a child accountable for their actions and help them rehabilitate while protecting the public from any further crimes the individual may commit.
During the case, the judge will listen to the evidence that is presented to them by both the prosecution and the defense. This evidence assists the judge in determining whether or not the juvenile is innocent or guilty of the crime they are accused of committing. It also helps the judge to determine a proper sentence in the event that they are guilty. There are some cases in which a juvenile is deemed as a “child in need of services.” This may be in the event of truancy, running away from home, loitering at night, and patronizing a bar without a parent or guardian.
In other cases, a juvenile may be involved in a serious crime that requires imprisonment. These are categorized as Class A and B felonies. A Class A designated felony includes serious crimes such as kidnapping, aggravated battery or assault, arson, attempted murder, and more. These crimes may require up to 60 months in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice. A Class B felony is less serious. These crimes include battery, robbery, arson in the second degree, attempted kidnapping, and more. This may require maximum imprisonment of 36 months.
The Seven Deadly Sins
In the state of Georgia, the State bill 440 changed the way certain crimes committed by juveniles are handled. Typically, juvenile crimes are heard in juvenile court. However, there are some cases in which a child may send a child into the custody of the Department of Corrections instead of the Department of Juvenile Justice. This happens in the event that a child commits what is knows as one of the seven deadly sins. This includes crimes such as:
- Armed robbery with a firearm
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Aggravated sodomy
- Aggravated child molestation
When this happens, the case is automatically transferred to superior court and the child is charged as an adult. The penalties seen in adult cases may result in the child with a loss of life, life in prison without parole, and life confinement in a penal institution.
Contact our Firm
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.