Has Your Child Been Arrested for DUI in Georgia?
Juvenile DUI Lawyer in Georgia - Juvenile DUI Attorney in Georgia
Under Georgia law, if you are 16 years old or younger, you are not considered an adult capable of committing a criminal offense. Throughout the state of Georgia, jurisdictions have set up juvenile courts to handle the delinquent and unruly acts of young people. There are certain serious crimes that those over the age of 12 can be tried as adults for, but DUI and other traffic offenses are not among them.
Juvenile Court offers fantastic protection for young people because anything that happens in juvenile court is not part of one's criminal record and the offenses are not even considered “crimes” under the law. However, that does not mean the offenses are without sanctions. Your child will have to report to Juvenile Court in the County in which the offense occurred, and your child is entitled to be represented by a Georgia Juvenile Court Attorney.
When you are under 17 years old, in the eyes of the court, you are still a child. If you are 17 years of age or older, your case will not be heard in a juvenile court, but will instead be heard in a municipal, state, or superior court and you will be sentenced as an adult. But if you are under the age of 17 at the time of the arrest, no matter how old you are at the time of your court date, your case will be heard in a juvenile court. Criminal charges can be especially troubling for youthful offenders because a conviction could potentially follow you for the rest of your life. Having a criminal record no matter your age can affect your ability to get into college, remain in good standing at school, qualify for financial aid and student loans, auto insurance, home loans, as well as affect your future employment opportunities.
What are the Qualifications of the Juvenile DUI Lawyers at our Office?
When if comes down to it, results are what matters. Our Georgia Juvenile DUI Lawyers are the top-rated and most reviewed lawyers in Georgia. Our Georgia DUI Attorneys know the ins and outs of the Georgia Juvenile Justice Systems and are here 24/7 to help.
Juvenile DUI Attorney Richard Lawson has been handling juvenile DUI cases in Georgia for more than 25 years. He is a former Juvenile DUI prosecutor who started his career in Georgia Juvenile Court.
Juvenile DUI Lawyer Kimberly Berry has been handling juvenile DUI cases in Georgia her entire legal career. She began her career has a juvenile public defender. She has helped hundreds of families with Georgia Juvenile Cases and Georgia Juvenile DUI Cases.
We are the top-rated DUI Defense Firm in Georgia. Our reviews can be found on the official attorney review service, called AVVO. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call now for immediate attention.
How Juvenile Cases in Georgia Are Handled Differently than in Adult Court - The Juvenile Court Process
Juvenile incarceration in Georgia is not through the county jail and state prison system but through short term Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDC) and the more long term Youth Detention Centers (YDC). In addition, there are wilderness camp programs for delinquent youth held throughout the state. There is also probation, counseling, classes and community service overseen by officers with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
The purpose of the Juvenile Court Process in Georgia is rehabilitation and the best interest of the child. This does NOT equate to determinations of guilt or innocence. The issue is the what is in the best interest of the child. The issue is comes does to adjudications of delinquency or unruliness. A Georgia Juvenile Court Lawyer from our office knows how to present the case in your child's best interest. A Georgia Juvenile Court Attorney from our office will protect your child's rights.
A juvenile can be charged with DUI if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 grams or more within 3 hours of driving, significantly lower than the blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more required if you are age 21 or older. In fact, Georgia law states that you are presumed to not be under the influence of alcohol if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less. That means that juveniles can be convicted of DUI when they were not actually impaired.
For teenage drivers who are convicted of DUI, if your blood alcohol concentration was less that 0.08 grams percent, the test results were suppressed, or if you refused to submit to the State-administered breath test, the license suspension period is 6 months. If your BAC was 0.08 grams percent or more, the license suspension period is 12 months. No limited use driving permit or early reinstatement is available to any driver under the age of 21. If this was your first DUI arrest, but your driver's license had previously been suspended due to an offense requiring a mandatory suspension such as hit & Run, reckless driving, or any offense for which four or more points are assessable, the suspension period after a DUI conviction will be 12 months regardless of whether you submitted to a test or your blood alcohol level.
What about my child's criminal record?
An important consideration with a Juvenile DUI is that the Department of Driver Services (DDS) is a distinct entity from the court system. At the age of 15, a driver can get a permit and has a record with DDS. Therefore, if they get arrested for DUI subsequent to getting a license and prior to turning 17, the DUI could still reflect on their driving record and lead to a suspension. Our Georgia DUI lawyers can work to stop this from happening and protect the confidentiality and records of your offenders.
Our Georgia DUI Attorneys also work hard to get the best possible outcomes for youth charged with serious offenses like DUI and reckless driving. In many instances we can save the license and keep everything off one's record. So there is a distinction between a sealed juvenile criminal record and the child's drivers record (MVR), which can be with him well into his adult life. Think about how every employer will check your child's drivers history with every adult employment application. Call our law office today to see how we can help. Our Georgia DUI Attorneys are always here, 24/7.
In juvenile court, cases proceed differently than in a municipal, state, or superior court. In the juvenile court system in Georgia, a child is not found “guilty,” but can instead be found “delinquent.” A delinquent child is a child who has committed a crime under the laws of Georgia or another state (if the crime occurred in the other state) and is in need of treatment and rehabilitation. See O.C.G.A. 15-11-2. There are many alternatives in juvenile court in which the case can be resolved without the need for a trial. The case could be informally adjusted, which means that the court could dismiss the charge after an informal probation period if the child completes what the court has ordered in the time specified and there are no new offenses. The juvenile could be put on probation for a period not to exceed 2 years in which the child will be assigned a probation officer and must abide by general terms of probation as well as any special terms of probation which could include community service work, educational or self-improvement classes, or counseling. The juvenile could also receive general commitment which means that legal custody is transferred temporarily to the State of Georgia to plan treatment and rehabilitation.
Even if your court records are sealed due to your age, a DUI conviction will be reported as a suspension on your driving history, which cannot be sealed and will forever be accessible by government agencies. For this reason, in order to ensure that your criminal record is clear the child must be acquitted of the DUI charge, the charge must be reduced to a lesser offense, or the child must complete a Pretrial Diversion Program.
A Pretrial Diversion Program is offered in most juvenile courts. This is a supervisory program with certain requirements that must be completed in a specified time period as an alternative to formal adjudication. If the requirements are met, the charges will be dismissed and, in many cases, the child's record can be sealed or expunged. The most common requirements of a Youth Diversion Program are the payment of a program fee, community service, alcohol or drug awareness courses, an essay, or a personal development class. If the requirements are not completed, the case will be prosecuted in a Georgia Juvenile Court. Any applicable license suspension will be prevented and will not be reported on your driving history because no conviction will be recorded.
Because most DUI arrests stem from traffic stops for other related driving offenses, your license may be suspended as a result of a conviction for another violation. 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 without eligibility for a limited use driving permit. A second or subsequent offense while you are still under 18 years old will require a 12 month license suspension.
If you are a juvenile, you still have your entire life in front of you and facing serious, criminal charges can be embarrassing, frustrating, and scary. A DUI conviction can affect the path your life takes for several years and will remain on your record indefinitely. Any case involving a person under the age of 18 requires special attention due to the range of consequences the person may face and the difficulties it can cause for the rest of their life.
We Can Help Keep The DUI Off Your Child's Permanent Record
There are many options when your child is arrested and charged with juvenile crimes in Georgia, including Juvenile DUI in Georgia. For one thing, we will investigate the evidence in the case to see if the State an even make the charge against your child. Secondly, we can fight the case itself. Third, if the evidence is overwhelming, many times we can work out an "informal adjustment" in your child's DUI Case in Georgia. This outcome will prevent the Juvenile DUI will end up on your child's record and M.V.R. A Georgia Juvenile Court Attorney can help.
We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. This includes nights, weekends, and holidays. Our office never closes because your family problems can happen anytime. Contact us today for immediate legal assistance. Call A Georgia Court Juvenile Lawyer now.
Georgia Juvenile DUI Lawyer
Georgia Juvenile DUI Attorney
Georgia Juvenile DUI Lawyers
Georgia Juvenile DUI Attorneys