What are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes Committed in Georgia?
More than half of juvenile criminal cases in Georgia involve either property crimes, such as theft or vandalism, or violent crimes, such as assault.
Georgia is one of the toughest states when it comes to criminal cases where the defendants are minors. Although some recent reforms have increased the opportunities for teenagers convicted of theft, drug possession, and other offenses to stay out of juvenile detention, the law cuts juvenile defendants very little slack because of their young age. Compared to adult defendants, juvenile defendants have more access to pretrial diversion programs and other forms of rehabilitative justice, but adolescents old enough to be in high school face a substantial risk of being tried and punished as adults if they are accused of serious crimes. No matter your age and no matter the crime of which you are accused, you have the right to have a lawyer represent you at every stage of your case, and you have a better chance of a successful outcome if you contact the Norcross juvenile criminal defense lawyers at Zimmerman & Associates.
The Most Common Criminal Charges Against Juvenile Defendants in Georgia
The most common juvenile crimes in Georgia would surprise a lot of people. When you think about things that teenagers do to get in trouble, you probably think about things like skipping school, underage drinking, and smoking weed. While schools and parents certainly punish teenagers if they do these things, some of them (such as truancy) are status offenses not subject to criminal penalties. These are the most common criminal arrests for juveniles in Georgia:
- 1/3 of arrests of people under the age of 17 in Georgia are for property crimes such as theft and vandalism
- 26% of arrests are for violent crimes, usually assault and battery
- Offenses against public order account for 14% of juvenile arrests
- Probation violations represent 13% of juvenile arrests
- 5% of arrests of underage defendants are for drug crimes
Will Your Teen be Tried as an Adult?
The juvenile justice system imposes penalties of relatively short duration, so that by the time the defendant has reached adulthood, they have completed their sentence and are ready to start adulthood with a clean slate. For the most serious crimes, though, teenagers accused of them can be charged as adults, which means that their trials and, if convicted, their sentences are the same as they would be for an older defendant. Minors can be tried as adults for violent crimes such as murder and voluntary manslaughter, and sex crimes such as rape, aggravated sexual battery, and sexual abuse of children. The prosecution has the option to charge teens age 15 or older as adults for certain felony offenses, but your juvenile criminal defense lawyer can petition the court to keep the case in the juvenile justice system.
Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Georgia Juvenile Defense Cases
An Atlanta juvenile criminal defense lawyer can help you exercise your rights if you are in your teens and facing criminal charges. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a free consultation.