Many of our children may have rebelled, maybe by using a fake ID or shoplifting just to see if they could get away with it. They might have thought of their behavior as “harmless fun,” but some of their rebellious antics are often construed as illegal and even harmful to them or someone else.
What happens if your child’s “harmless fun” results in being taken into custody? The state of Georgia views children 17 and under as minors, and their offenses are usually heard by the Juvenile Court System. If your child has been charged, then you need Attorney Dean Phillips in your corner. He has considerable experience assisting young people and their parents or guardians navigate the legal system.
Typical Juvenile Offenses
In the juvenile system, infractions are considered status offenses, such as truancy or running away, or delinquent acts, which are crimes if committed by an adult. As you may suspect, underage drinking and vandalism are frequent issues within the age group, but sometimes, a child can be involved in far more serious acts such as in rape, gang-related charges, and manslaughter. Attorney Dean Phillips can help with the offenses listed:
- Drug-related Crimes-Possession, Intent to Distribute
- Sex Crimes-“Sexting”, Molestation, Rape
- Theft Crimes-Shoplifting, Smash and Grab
- Assault and/or Battery
- Criminal Trespass
- Violent Crimes-Manslaughter, Murder
- Gang Activity
- Traffic-Related Offenses-Hit and Run, Super Speeder
- Alcohol-Related Offenses-Minor in Possession, Driving under the influence (DUI)
What Can Happen after My Child Is Taken into Custody?
When your child is taken into custody, he or she will meet with an intake officer. This person’s job is to determine if there’s enough evidence to support the charges. If not, the officer will dismiss the case. If there is enough evidence, then the officer will determine how your child will be detained – either in a detention center or released to you.
Your child will be read the Miranda Rights, and you are able to be present when your child is questioned. The Juvenile Court also ensures that your child understands his or her rights and takes into account the age, education, and comprehension of the legal process of your child.
If your child is detained, he or she will have a detention hearing during which a Juvenile Court judge will determine if the case should proceed to a formal hearing and if your child should be detained until that hearing. Your child will also have the right to make bail.
For further information, visit Georgia’s Legal Aid site.
How Can Attorney Dean Phillips Help My Child?
In many cases, your child may be eligible for a pre-trial diversion program. These programs aim to rehabilitate children and prevent them from spending time in a youth detention center. The program often requires community service, drug/alcohol screening, and counseling. After completing the program, the prosecutor will drop the charge(s), securing a brighter future for your child. Let Attorney Dean Phillips help your son or daughter with a second chance.
What If the Charges Are More Serious?
Some situations arise in which your child’s offense will not be expunged from his or her record, or your child could be tried as an adult. Being tried as an adult is rare and is usually reserved for violent offenses. In these cases, your child will not qualify for a pre-trial diversion program. You need a seasoned lawyer who will fight for your son’s or daughter’s rights. Attorney Dean Phillips will work with you and your child to develop the best possible defense for the circumstances.
Dean Phillips represents young people charged with a delinquent act in Marietta, Cobb County, Paulding County, Bartow County, Acworth, Austell, Powder Springs, Smyrna, Kennesaw and Woodstock. For a free consultation on your child’s criminal defense case, call 770-415-0933.