Edwards, McLeod, & Money specializes in providing expert legal advice for families or individuals facing an issue in the juvenile court system. The juvenile court system has jurisdiction of children 16 years of age and under.
While dependency, delinquency, and other juvenile court actions may feel like criminal actions, in truth, they are very different. While Delinquent actions may look and feel like criminal actions, in truth they are very different. If your child is involved in a delinquency case, please contact the Edwards, McLeod & Money to schedule a time for you and your child to sit down with an attorney and learn what alternatives are available.
In addition to the typical juvenile court actions, there are some charges, defined as “Designated Felonies,” that a child can be adjudicated for that can result in the child being placed in state custody for up to five years. A designated felony act is a second or subsequent offense committed by a child between the ages of 13 and 17 for the following offenses:
- Kidnapping or arson in the first or second degree;
- Aggravated assault, aggravated battery, robbery, armed robbery not involving a firearm, or battery if the victim is a teacher or other school personnel;
- Attempted murder or kidnapping, carrying or possession of a weapon in violation on school grounds;
- Any violation of § 16-7-82 (intent to distribute drugs), § 16-7-84 (distribution of destructive/dangerous devices to minors) or § 16-7-86 (attempt or conspiracy);
- Any other felony act where the child has three previous felony adjudications;
- Trafficking in cocaine or other drugs, racketeering;
- Escape if prior adjudication as designated felon;
- Criminal street gangs, offenses subject to the Superior Court jurisdiction;
- Second offenses of motor vehicle theft; and
- Other serious offenses.
It is also important to understand that Juvenile Court DOES NOT have jurisdiction for the following cases, called the “Seven Deadly Sins”, if committed between the ages of 13 and 17. The child is then subject to the jurisdiction of the Superior Court, not the Juvenile Court:
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Aggravated Sodomy
- Aggravated Child Molestation
- Aggravated Sexual Battery
- Armed Robbery Using a Firearm
It is also important to understand that you can be held responsible for committing a crime without being the one who physically commits that crime. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-2-20, every person concerned in the commission of a crime is a party thereto and may be charged with and convicted of commission of the crime. A person is concerned in the commission of a crime only if he:
- Directly commits the crime;
- Intentionally causes some other person to commit the crime under such circumstances that the other person is not guilty of any crime either in fact or because of legal incapacity;
- Intentionally aids or abets in the commission of the crime; or
- Intentionally advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to commit the crime.
If you or your child have been charged with any delinquent offense, before talking to the police, intake, or any member of the court, please call Edwards, McLeod & Money to discuss what you should do, and should not do, to preserve the rights of the accused.
For a consultation, give us a call at +1 770-949-7300