With the exception of serious or heinous crimes, juveniles will not be tried as adults in the Georgia court system. For DUIs and other traffic-related offenses, 17 years is the cut off to be tried in juvenile court. A juvenile is not seen as capable of committing a criminal offense in the same capacity as an adult, so they are not subject to the same process or penalties as adults, for a majority of legal infractions. For DUIs and other traffic-related offenses, 17 years is the cut-off for one's case to be heard in juvenile court. At 17 years and older, the case will be heard in either municipal, state or superior court.
The state of Georgia has designated juvenile courts which handle offenses perpetrated by those 16 and younger. Juvenile courts are commendably quite protective of juvenile rights, usually taking a fair and evenhanded approach juvenile offenses. Due to offender age, juvenile offenses are not even tried as “crimes.” Convictions in a juvenile court will not go on one's criminal record. Nevertheless, juvenile offense do have their own associated sanctions and repercussions. If your child is charged with juvenile DUI in Roswell County, you are entitled to representation from a Roswell juvenile DUI attorney. Former DUI prosecutor Richard Lawson has over two decades of experience defending DUI charges; he is well-versed in the specific laws and legal practices of Roswell county and began his career in Georgia Juvenile court. The Law Offices of Richard Lawson is the top-rated Georgia DUI defense firm - do not hesitate to contact Richard Lawson at any time, including nights and weekends to request a free, immediate consultation of your child's charges. Contending with DUI charges as an adult is immensely stressful and, let alone trying to navigate the system and determine a course of action for defending charges against your child. Securing competent and skilled legal representation is a step toward peace of mind at this stressful moment in your life - after taking on your case Richard Lawson will be at your next court date, prepared to defend your child's rights.
Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to a much lower blood alcohol limit than adult drivers. A juvenile driver can be charged with driving under the influence if officers find their blood alcohol content is above just .02% within three hours of driving. This lower limit “casts a wider net” for the charging and prosecution of “drunk driving.” Ironically, an individual is not considered impaired at any blood alcohol concentration below .05. This means that your child could foreseeably be charged with driving under the influence even if their ability to drive was unaffected and they were unimpaired. Drivers older than 17 and younger than 21 are in an especially vulnerable stretch of their lives, where DUI charges are concerned. They are still subject to the hyper-stringent .02% BAC limit but would be tried as an adult in municipal, state or superior court. If convicted, the offense could potentially go on their criminal record - even though their BAC might've well fallen below the standard .08 that drinking age adults are subject to.
If a juvenile refused to submit to breath tests at the scene, their license could be suspended for up to 6 months. If their BAC is found to be above .08, this suspension period could reach 12 months. There is no limited driving permit or early license reinstatement option for underage drivers in this situation.
A convicted juvenile DUI would stay off your child's permanent criminal record, however, it might still reflect on their driving record. This could have an eventual effect on your child's efforts to obtain car insurance or secure employment; some employers will review a prospective employee's driving record. In the face of these long-term repercussions, contact a Roswell DUI attorney to see how they can help.
The processes of juvenile court is significantly different than those of state, municipal and superior courts. A judgment does not determine whether your child is guilty, rather it determines if they are “delinquent.” A delinquent child would then receive treatment and rehabilitation. Do not make the mistake of thinking that a charge is a one-way ticket to a trial. There is a world of alternatives in juvenile court by which a case can be resolved without going to trial. A charge could be dismissed by informal adjudication after the juvenile completes an informal probation period and incurs no new charges. A court could impose a formal probation of no more than two years during which the child would have to comply with all probation terms, whatever they may be. Another option is a Youth Diversion Program, for which the common requirements include a program fee, community service and completion of an alcohol/drug awareness course. If the child fails to meet the requirements of an alternative to trial, the charge could go to trial in juvenile court, in which case, Alpharetta DUI Attorney Richard Lawson is prepared to explore every legal avenue to build your child the best possible defense.