Many parents ask us why their 17 year old is being charged as an adult. Under current Georgia law, anyone charged with a crime at 17 years old is prosecuted as an adult. Georgia is 1 of 3 states that still prosecutors all 17-year-olds as adults. If the crime is serious enough, there are ways that someone under 17 can be charged as an adult. (For more information on people under 17 being charged as an adult, read this blog post.)
We believe that young people should have every opportunity for their future. We also believe that society should not judge people for a foolish youthful mistake. It can be heartbreaking to have a criminal record follow a young person around for the rest of their life. This type of youthful decision can impact their ability to get in to college or get a job. The weight of this kind of judgement can impact how a young person thinks of themselves.
When defending 17-year-olds accused of a crime, there is a key fact that a Georgia criminal defense team must remember. Just because you are an adult in Georgia at 17, does not mean you should be treated exactly the same as older adults. A proper defense means having a plan to show that the young person in this case is not the same as older adults. The prosecutors and judges in these cases need to be shown the potential that the 17-year-old has for their future. They also need to be shown how a harmful resolution in a criminal case has the potential to derail the 17 year old’s opportunities.
If you need help with a case where a 17-year-old is being prosecuted as an adult, please contact us to see if we can help.