Teen and Young Adult Criminal Defense in Georgia
Everyone makes mistakes. However, most people do not think about how their choices can harm them, and they end up in legal trouble. This is especially true for teenagers and young adults. Criminal histories have a significant effect on adults but even greater consequences for teens and young adults. People say kids will be kids, but when a teenager's actions end up in them being arrested, things can get very serious. When a teen gets into legal trouble, it can cost them key opportunities that impact the rest of their lives. Young adults with criminal records often have trouble finding jobs, getting into college, securing student loans, and finding employment. Over time, these lost opportunities build on each other until it disrupts their entire future.
There are many crimes teen and young adults can be charged with in Georgia, and they must be dealt with accordingly in order to limit the impact on their future. Teens and young adults can be charged with drug crimes, disorderly conduct, DUI, petty theft, assault, and a multitude of other offenses. Many times they are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Other times, they are swept up in something that is over their head and not what they thought they were getting into.
We do not want a youthful indiscretion to ruin your child's future! No matter what offense your teenager, child, or young adult has been charged with, our Georgia Teen Attorneys are here to help. We have over 50 combined years of experience in exclusively criminal defense and are prepared to assist you today. Our team of young adult criminal defense lawyers in Georgia will help you achieve the best result for your case. Call now to receive a free case evaluation.
Georgia Law Treats 17 Year Olds as an Adult for Criminal Law and Traffic Offenses
At 17 years old, society may treat you like a child but courts treat you as an adult. Instead of being heard in juvenile court, your case will be heard in a municipal, state, or superior court. Furthermore, you will be sentenced as an adult. This means that anything that happens will affect you for the rest of your life and go on your permanent criminal record.
Because of the ability for a conviction to follow you the rest of your life, you need a Georgia Teen and Young Adult Attorney in your case. Youthful offenders face the possibility of being expelled from school as well as difficulties getting into college, finding employment, qualifying for financial aid, renting an apartment, and getting auto insurance. Even scholarships such as HOPE and Zell Miller could be forfeited with a criminal conviction.
What Types of Crimes Can a Teenager Be Charged with in Georgia?
Teenagers and young adults can be charged with a myriad of crimes in Georgia. Many people think vandalism or underage drinking are the only ones, and while they are common charges, there are many more crimes. Pulling a fire alarm, loitering, entering vacant buildings, staying out past curfew, DUI, and underage possession of alcohol (MIP) are just some of the offenses young adults are commonly charged with. All of these crimes have one thing in common: they will have an impact on your future! No matter how minor the offense may appear, it is critical to hire an experienced Teen Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgia from the very beginning.
Some of the types of crimes teenagers and young adults can be charged with are described below. If you have been charged with one of the specified crimes or another one, don't hesitate to call our office. We want to help ensure the charge does not impact the rest of your life!
Some typical ways teenagers commit vandalism in Georgia can be performing graffiti, entering vacant buildings, entering a home without permission, keying someone's car, or drawing on public restroom walls. Young adults often make the mistake of thinking these actions are not really crimes and therefore, they cannot be punished for them. Georgia identifies two separate crimes that typically would be considered “vandalism”: criminal damage to property and criminal trespass. Teenagers may be charged with criminal trespass in Georgia if they damage a mailbox, enter into a vacant building, or go on someone's land without permission. Criminal trespass is charged as a misdemeanor as long as the damage is less than $500.00. Damaging mailboxes is an example of criminal trespass. However, criminal damage to property is charged as a felony. Even though the defendant may be a teenage or young adult, the consequences will still be severe. If charged with criminal damage to property or criminal trespass, call one of our many Georgia Teen and Young Adult Criminal Defense Attorneys now to ensure you receive the best representation.
Minor in possession of alcohol is also known as MIP or underage possession. This is a common charge throughout Georgia. It is immaterial whether the defendant submitted to a breath test during the arrest. Instead, any evidence that the minor consumed alcohol can result in the person being charged with MIP. Furthermore, the person does not have to be in actual possession of alcohol to be charged. A teenager charged with MIP could be sentenced to jail time and face having a permanent criminal record for the rest of their life. They may also lose their driver's license even if they were not driving.
However, a Georgia Teenager Lawyer will make sure your rights are protected! We can help prevent you from having a permanent criminal record and protect your driving privileges. We are experienced in dealing with these situations and can utilize informal ways to resolve your case.
Driving under the influence is a serious charge whether you are an adult or a teenager. A teenager or young adult can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 grams or more within 3 hours of driving. This is significantly lower than the .08 BAC for people 21 years or older. Furthermore, 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. Therefore, that means that teens and young adults can be convicted of DUI even when they were not actually impaired.
Young adults charged with DUI must fight their charge to protect their future! A DUI conviction will be reported as a suspension on their driving history and will always be accessible by government agencies. All cases involving teenagers or young adults charged with a DUI require the special attention of an experienced Young Adult Attorney in Georgia!
Possession of Marijuana
Countless teenagers are charged with possession of marijuana in Georgia. It does not take much to be charged with possession. Even a small residue that isn't enough to smoke can be used by the state to convict you. The penalties for possession of marijuana range depending on how much marijuana was found to be in your possession. It is important to understand that you do not have to be found in actual possession of marijuana to be charged. Constructive possession can be enough to be arrested.
In addition to jail time or fines, a person charged with DUI Drugs can lose their driving privileges in Georgia. The only way to prevent these charges from affecting the rest of your life is to hire a Georgia Young Adult Attorney. We will do everything we can to protect your rights.
Petty Theft Crimes
Teenagers and young adults frequently commit theft crimes. Shoplifting, stealing bicycles, and stealing from lockers are just some of the common offenses. Theft crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the amount taken. Most teenagers are charged with misdemeanor theft, but it will still have an impact on their future. It can affect academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, employment opportunities, and college acceptance.
The big issue we see with teenage and young adult crimes in Georgia is that the accused did not think about how their actions would affect them later in life. Teenagers are not thinking about 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. They make the mistake of believing their choices now will not matter. However, a teenager charged with shoplifting in Georgia will quickly realize the severity of their actions. Let us help ensure that this lapse in judgment does not impact the rest of their lives! We understand you have dreams you hope to accomplish and ourTeen Criminal Lawyers in Georgia will help resolve your case to ensure you reach your goals.
Disorderly conduct is a common offense for teenagers and young adults in Georgia. It is a catchall statute that is used when people engage in actions likely to cause a disturbance. For teenagers, typical examples include fighting in a public place, cursing at a teacher, or flashing/mooning others. Because disorderly conduct can manifest itself in hundreds of different ways, it is essential to hire a Teen and Young Adult Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgia. Our office has had great success in helping people charged with disorderly conduct in Georgia work out a deal with the prosecutor.
To teenagers and young adults, offenses such as calling 911 when there is no emergency and pulling a fire alarm are seen as harmless jokes. However, the law does not see them that way. We frequently see teens charged with false reporting crimes that are scared as to how this will impact their future. Even though they are generally punished as misdemeanor crimes, it will still go on a teens criminal record. Any blemish can affect their ability to get into college, receive scholarships, or prevent them from getting a job. We understand that everyone makes mistakes and they shouldn't have to impact the rest of your life. That is why our Georgia Teen Lawyers work hard to minimize the consequences.
Assault and Battery
While many people use the terms interchangeably, assault and battery are two different crimes. According to O.C.G.a. §16-5-20, assault offenses when a person attempts to commit a violent injury or commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. Battery occurs when a person intentionally causes substantial harm or visible bodily harm to another. O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1.
Both of these crimes are serious offenses for a teenager or young adult to be charged with. Teenagers make the mistake of thinking threats don't justify legal action or the person had it coming for them. Harming another person because “they had it coming” or deserved it are not justifiable reasons according to the law. Assault and battery charges often happen and were not the intent of the parties. They may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or got swept into something that they did not intend. However, the situation arose a charge for assault or battery is very serious. It requires the knowledge an experienced attorney to ensure the consequences do not follow you the rest of your life.
Another way assault manifests itself in teenagers and young adults is concerning family members. These situations can escalate quickly, and family violence issues are big things in the eyes of the law.
No matter the reason for the assault or battery, it is critical to hire a Young Adult Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgia. Do not let this charge impact the rest of your life or your child's life.
Teenagers and young adults have multiple curfews they must adhere to. Cities generally impose a curfew dictating when young people can be in public places. For example, Atlanta has a provision prohibiting teens from being out past 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. on weekends. Then, Georgia also has a curfew applying to young drivers. Staying out past curfew or driving past curfew are common charges that while appear minor, can make their life difficult. A curfew violation when teenagers do not have their full license can prevent them from obtaining a full unrestricted license. ‘
Relationships can be difficult at any age, but sometimes criminal charges are filed when a relationship goes awry. With the rise of social media and the ability to know where someone is at all times, it is much easier to stalk someone. Teenagers may not think their actions rise to the level of stalking. Stalking occurs when a person follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person without their consent to harass or intimidate the other person. Stalking is a misdemeanor charge upon a first conviction but a second or subsequent conviction will result in a felony charge.
If you or your teenager is charged with stalking, contact a Georgia Young Adult Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. Do not let these charges carry on with into your future.
Possession of Drug Paraphilia
Possession of drug related objects is a common charge among teenagers. Even though no drugs may be in their possession, they can be charged with possession of drug paraphilia. These include bongs, rolling papers, scales, pipes, or syringes. Possession of drug related objects is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense, but felony charges may occur in some situations. The penalties can include jail time, fines, probation, and drug testing. There are programs that teenagers and young adults can take advantage of if they are a first time offender. Our Georgia Teenager Lawyers are familiar with the alternative programs and can best advise you on what is best for your case.
Teens and young adults also face harsh consequences when charged with traffic violations. For drivers under 18 years of age, an accumulation of four or more points on their license in 12 months will result in a six month driver's license suspension. This is a hard suspension and they will not be eligible for a limited driving permit. Even a plea of nolo contendere will not prevent the accumulation of points on your driving record. A second or subsequent driving offense while under 18 years of age will result in a one year license suspension. 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.
Traffic violations that should concern young drivers include speeding, racing, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, following too closely, failure to maintain lane, and aggressive driving. If charged with a traffic violation, immediately call a Georgia Teen Criminal Defense Attorney.
What to Do if Your Child is in Custody in Georgia
We understand this can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience when your child is in jail. The best advice we can give is to call us as quickly as possible. We will answer your questions and give you an outline of what you can expect. We will advocate for your child to ensure their actions do not have a lasting impact! Our goal is to do everything possible within the bounds of the law to minimize the effect of the criminal charges. Avoiding a conviction is our primary focus, and we are prepared to negotiate with the prosecutor or take the case to trial to accomplish this task.
How We Can Help
Having your teenager or young adult detained is a difficult situation. Many people want to sweep the issue under the rug and pretend it didn't happen. This generally involves them pleading guilty just to be done with the criminal process. We never advise anyone to just plead guilty! There are always Georgia Criminal Defenses that we can use to defend your case! When a child's future is on the line, you need the best young adult lawyers in Georgia. We understand the stress that coincides with criminal charges and are prepared to alleviate that stress for you! We will walk you through every step of the process. Our office is open nights, weekends, and holidays to ensure you always receive a prompt answer to your questions. Call now and see how we can make all the difference for you and your teenager!