Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

A Closer Look at Juvenile Laws in Georgia After Three Atlanta Teenagers Steal a Car and Hit Two Pedestrians

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 01, 2018 | 0 Comments

Three teenage boys have been accused of hijacking a car last night in the city of Atlanta. They allegedly ran a red light and hit two pedestrians with the car before crashing into another vehicle.

The incident took place at the intersection of Lee Street and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. The vehicle driven by the boys was reported as stolen. Two of the boys were only 13 years old and have been detained. The third boy's identity is unknown as of right now, and he is allegedly still on the run. All parties involved in the incident, including the two pedestrians have suffered injuries but nothing life-threatening or too serious.

As an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will explain some of the laws governing juveniles and serious crimes in Georgia in today's post.

Superior Court and Juvenile Cases in Georgia

If a child between ages 13 and 17 is charged with certain offenses, then the Superior Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the child's case.

There are now nine of these offenses listed under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-560:

Before a transfer to Superior Court, the Juvenile Court of the relevant county must consider:

  • The age of such child;
  • The seriousness of the alleged offense, especially if personal injury resulted;
  • Whether the protection of the community requires transfer of jurisdiction;
  • Whether the alleged offense involved violence or was committed in an aggressive or premeditated manner;
  • The impact of the alleged offense on the alleged victim, including the permanence of any physical or emotional injury sustained, health care expenses incurred, and lost earnings suffered;
  • The culpability of such child including such child's level of planning and participation in the alleged offense;
  • Whether the alleged offense is a part of a repetitive pattern of offenses which indicates that such child may be beyond rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system;
  • The record and history of such child, including experience with the juvenile justice system, other courts, supervision, commitments to juvenile institutions, and other placements;
  • The sophistication and maturity of such child as determined by consideration of his or her home and environmental situation, emotional condition, and pattern of living;
  • The program and facilities available to the juvenile court in considering disposition; and
  • Whether or not a child can benefit from the treatment or rehabilitative programs available to the juvenile court.

The Superior Court must also consider this list of factors before transferring down to Juvenile Court. However, both courts may look at other facts and circumstances as well.

Practice Note

Georgia Juvenile Laws are complicated and much more extensive than the scope of this post. If your child has been arrested in the Metro Atlanta Area, contact an Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney today. The possibility of being tried as an adult is a terrifying consequence, and no one should face this without representation.

We understand that this process is both terrifying and extremely overwhelming. We have over 50 years of combined experience and can help you with your case. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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