At Matt Pope Law, we want you to be aware on the situation you are dealing with. We take juvenile court cases very seriously. Our goal is to inform you of the processes of your case, provide you with our expertise, and give you the best outcome for your situation. Here is some information on juvenile court matter:
The juvenile court system was established in 1899 but did not reach the state of Georgia until 1911 in Fulton County. In Georgia, the law that controls these courts is known as the juvenile code which was established in 1971. The idea of the juvenile court is not necessarily based on punishment but instead it should provide protection for the child. The juvenile court system serves to rehabilitate the child while keeping society’s best interest in mind.
To be considered a juvenile, a child must be 17 years or younger and commit a delinquent act or status offense. A delinquent act is an act that would be considered a crime if it were commited by an adult. A status offense is an act that would not be considered a crime if it were committed by an adult. A status offense is minor and includes things such as underage drinking, violating the states curfew law, skipping school, etc. Not only does the juvenile court have control over those who committ a deliquent act or status offense, the court also has control over children who are abused or neglected. It is a possibility for those who have commited “crimes” or offenses to be held until they are 21 years old. In 1994, an amendment was established that allowed those juveniles who committed more violent crimes to be charged as an adult. It basically gives the superior court control over the juvenile. Some crimes that fall under this amendment are murder, rape, and armed robbery commited with the use of firearms. Children under 13 years are not taken into consideration by this amendment because it is believed that they are not mentally capable of criminal intent. Therefore, they are still considered juveniles and dealt with only by the juvenile court.
Juveniles are never “arrested” instead they are “taken into custody. If an officer of the law has reasonable ground to believe the child has commited a deliquent act or status offense, then the officer has rights to take the child into custody. A child may also be taken into custody if he/she has been neglected or abused. A child being taken into custody will never legally be considered an arrest. This is only true as long as the child has only had contact with the juvenile court system.
At Matt Pope Law, we handle juvenile court cases with care and do our best to keep the child’s interest in mind. Children are the future and we want to help them with legal matters to the best of our ability. We deal with juvenile cases on a regular basis, so we know what action needs to be taken when the situation occurs. If your child has legal issues that need to be handled, contact us today. We will be happy to help.