At Age 17 You Are An Adult in Georgia If Arrested

At Age 17 You Are An Adult For Criminal Law Purposes in Georgia

When you are 17 years old you are not quite an adult, but not quite a child anymore either.  Society may treat you like a child in many situations, but the courts will view you as an adult.  If you are 17 years of age or older, your case will not be heard in a juvenile court, but will be heard in a municipal, state, or superior court and you will be sentenced as an adult.  For criminal law purposes in Georgia, you are an adult.  Anything that happens in your case will affect you the rest of your life, and your criminal record is permanent.

Facing criminal charges can be especially troubling for 17 year olds and other youthful offenders because a conviction could potentially follow you for the rest of your life.  Having a criminal record no matter your age can bring the possibility of expulsion from school as well as affect your ability to get into college, qualify for financial aid and student loans, auto insurance, renting an apartment, and your future employment opportunities.  Even your Hope Scholarship can be forfeited with a criminal conviction.

Being Age 17 and your Georgia Drivers License:

Being 17 years old also means you will face harsher consequences regarding your driver's license.  For drivers under the age of 18, if you accumulate four or more points in any 12 month period, you will face a six month driver's license suspension. This is a “hard” suspension and you will not be eligible for a limited-use driving permit. Further, a plea of nolo contendere will not prevent the assessment of points on your driving record.

A second or subsequent offense while you are still under 18 years old will result in license suspension for one year.  There are many offenses for which 4 or more points are assessable including unlawful passing of a school bus, improper passing on a hill or curve, exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more, reckless driving, and aggressive driving.

Certain cases may be able to be resolved in a way to avoid a conviction being recorded on your criminal history.  Pretrial Diversion is available in certain cases if you are a first time offender.  Charges such as Minor in Possession of Alcohol, certain traffic offenses, and Shoplifting are commonly referred to the Pretrial Diversion Program, which allows you to complete certain requirements in a specified time period and once completed, the charges will be dismissed and potentially eligible for expungement from your criminal record.

If your case is resolved by participation in the Pretrial Diversion Program, no conviction will be entered and you can honestly state that you have never been convicted of a crime. Common requirements of the program are the payment of a fine or program fee, probation, community service, a personal development seminar, alcohol or drug awareness courses, or a Risk Reduction course.  If you fail to complete the requirements or are charged with committing a new offense while in the program, you may become ineligible and you will face prosecution of the original charges along with any potential consequences.

What can be done if you are a young person arrested for DUI in Georgia?

As a result, any case involving a person under the age of 18 requires special attention due to the range of consequences the person may face including permanent criminal record that could follow you for the rest of your life. Our Attorneys specialize in handling cases that involve youthful offenders in Georgia.  Our attention is to the needs and concerns of the parents of teenage, youthful offenders throughout the State of Georgia. Your concerns are our concerns.  Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This includes weekends, nights, and holidays.

Cases we handle include all Youthful Offender Cases.

This includes, but is not limited to DUI Under 21 Years Old in Georgia, Teenage DUI in Georgia, Georgia Juvenile cases held in Georgia Juvenile Court, Juvenile DUI, MIP, Minor in Possession of alcohol, possession of marijuana in Georgia, and other cases held in Georgia Juvenile Court. In addition, the cases that should concern young drivers include, speeding, following to closely, failure to maintain lane, accidents, racing, hit and run, reckless driving, suspended license, violation of probation, obstruction, fleeing or attempting to elude, racing, and aggressive driving.

Contact our Georgia Youthful Offender Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We are here because your child's case needs immediate legal attention.

Our Attorneys

  • Richard Lawson

    Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Cri...

  • Kimberly A. Berry

    Kimberly Berry has devoted her career to defending people. She is ...


  • Kimberly Berry is a hard working, honest, future saving, SUPERIOR Attorney!

    Our teenager went off to College (August 2012) with a "You don't have to worry about me, I will not get into trouble, I know what I'm doing" attitude. Two MIP's within the first three months and a citation four months later, proved that attitude wrong. After we had a "come to Jesus" discussion wi... Read On

  • DUI dropped!

    I was charged with Dui for driving under the influence of my prescription medications. Kimberly got my dui charge dropped to a regular traffic ticket for reckless driving. This saved my job. No jail and I kept my license. Total life saver! Thank you soooo much! Read On

  • First DUI...Thank you again Richard Lawson!

    I got my DUI 3 months ago, I can say that Richard Lawson has helped me more than I would expect from any attorney. He kept me driving and got me the minimum outcome. Every time I contacted him, his response time was instantaneous and every question was always clearly answered. Read On

Recent Case Results

  • This case was in Helen Municipal Court.  The client was charged with a DUI and four counts of DUI Child Endangerment.  In Georgia, for every child under the age of 14 in a vehicle it is considered a separate DUI offense.  The client would have been declared an habitual violator from one arrest an... Read On

  • Client was charged with a suspended license because he did not reinstate his privilege to drive after the expiration of his restricted license.  Per my advice, the client properly reinstated his license the day after he was charged.  Case Dismissed in Cobb County State Court.  Read On

  • Client was a resident of New York who was arrested while he was visiting Georgia for pleasure. He was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, and Speeding 37 MPH over the speed limit. We were able to get the client an unbelievable outcome in Hampton, Georgia. His DUI dismissed, his speeding ticket wa... Read On


Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer


When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!