As many of the followers of our newsletter and social media know, you are an adult for criminal law purposes at the age of 17 in Georgia. There are certain offenses in Georgia that automatically start in Superior Court, with a child between the ages of 13 to 17 being charged as an adult. Those offenses include:
2) Murder in the Second Degree;
3) Voluntary Manslaughter;
5) Aggravated Sodomy;
6) Aggravated Child Molestation;
7) Aggravated Sexual Battery;
8) Armed Robbery (if committed with a firearm);
9) Aggravated Assault (if committed with a firearm upon a public safety officer);
10) Aggravated Battery upon a public safety officer;
With some of these offenses only the District Attorney can choose to have the case prosecuted in Juvenile Court, while other offenses can be transferred to Juvenile Court by order of a Superior Court Judge. When a judge considers the transfer, the judge is to consider a number of different factors about whether to transfer the case or not.
The easiest way to try to get these matters transferred to Juvenile Court is through an agreement with the District Attorney. A proactive approach to ensure that the child’s legal team is prepared to present all of the factors required at a hearing before the judge can go a long way to trying to get a case that starts in Superior Court with the potential of long term incarceration to Juvenile Court, which has a lot more rehabilitative tools to help a young person have more opportunity to move past this situation and become a successful adult.