Knowledgeable Juvenile Law Attorney in Marietta, GA Protects Children
Working to keep your child’s criminal record clear of crime
The indiscretions of youth are not usually held to the same standard of scrutiny and repercussion as the indiscretions of adults. Juvenile law is meant to apply different rules and sentencing standards to those who have not yet grown to full maturity and decision-making capability. Not only is the letter of the juvenile law different, but so, too, is the legal process applied to juveniles. At the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash, we have years of experience handling juvenile cases. If your child or ward has had a run-in with the law for a drug crime, theft, or other offense, our criminal defense lawyers provided representation that is sensitive to your child’s age, needs, and future.
Under the law, juveniles are treated differently than adults
For a number of reasons, but mostly because they lack developed judgment, morality, and decision-making skills, youthful criminal offenders are not held to the same standard as adults accused of the same or similar offenses. But that does not mean that juvenile crimes are not serious — the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has designated some crimes, including those listed below, as felonies:
- Drug offenses — Trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, or marijuana
- Theft crimes — Robbery not involving a firearm, hijacking a motor vehicle, second or subsequent theft of a motor vehicle
- Assault and battery — Kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, attempted murder
- Other crimes — Arson (first and second degrees), carrying or possession of a weapon in a public place, second or subsequent possession of a firearm by a minor, street gang activity, racketeering, escape from lawful custody, second or subsequent bomb threats
These crimes cannot be simply wiped from a juvenile’s record. Moreover, depending on the unique circumstances of the offenses, certain felony juvenile cases can be transferred from Juvenile Court to Superior Court to be handled as adult cases.
But youth status is a built-in criminal defense. For instance, the DJJ asserts that according to Georgia criminal code, no one can be found guilty of a crime if the crime was committed before they were 13 years old.
A youthful mistake can have serious consequences
The law is very specific regarding the transfer for prosecution of a child to Superior Court by the Juvenile Court. There is an age limitation for transfer — 15 years of age at the time of the delinquent offense.
A child 13 to 17 years old may be prosecuted in Superior Court for the following offenses:
- Armed robbery, if committed with a firearm
- Aggravated battery (in some cases)
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Aggravated sodomy
- Aggravated child molestation
- Aggravated sexual battery
It is important for a young person facing criminal charges to understand the process they face. According to the DJJ, for juvenile crimes, a suspect is first taken into custody. Then there is a probable cause hearing to make sure there is enough information to move a case forward. If so, there is an adjudicatory hearing to confirm a crime occurred and a dispositional hearing to determine where a defendant should be held before the resolution of the case. Then, there may be incarceration in a facility pending trial.
Juvenile law is not kid stuff. Our law firm works just as hard to do right by our younger clients as by anyone else — if not harder, because a longer future is at stake. We represent our juvenile clients’ best interests, working to minimize the harsher penalties they might face and advocate for ones that focus on education and rehabilitation.
Contact an honest, aggressive juvenile law attorney serving Marietta and metro Atlanta
Making sure your child’s rights are protected is our top priority. We work to communicate clearly and thoroughly with our clients and their families to make sure they understand the severity of their cases and what is at stake for the future. Call the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash at 770.422.0878 or contact our office online to schedule a free initial consultation. We have six locations throughout metro Atlanta to serve your needs.