If you are 16 years old or younger, in the State of Georgia you are not considered an adult when being charged with a DUI and other traffic offenses.
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 you will not need a Georgia DUI Lawyer. In fact, it’s especially important because of the consequences.
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.
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.
This important fact is a huge reason you need a Georgia DUI Attorney. This is where the rubber meets the road. As a Former Prosecutor, we know at this point the evidence can be a gray area. We know how this will be handled by the State and if you don’t have a DUI Lawyer, you could be facing penalties needlessly. Contact the Howard Law Group today if this is your Son or Daughter facing these charges.