We want to educate everyone on a false belief that seems to exist. That false belief is that you are not an adult for criminal purposes until you are 18, and that nothing can be done to you before that age. In Georgia, you are treated as an adult for criminal law purposes at the age of 17, excluding some traffic offenses. Even before you are 17, there are some offenses that will go on your criminal record. There are other offenses that can be transferred to adult court, where you can face adult punishments, like prison.
 
It is also worth noting that juvenile court does have the ability to lock teens up in the YDC for certain violations of the law. While you may think that you are only facing a slap on the wrist, the truth is that involvement in the juvenile justice system can take a huge toll on teens and their families.
 
Probation in juvenile court can actually be for a longer period of time than it can legally be for the same offense in adult court. The juvenile court can also order both parents and children to comply with certain requirements. In this situation, not only do the teens end up on probation, but so do the parents.
 
The lesson here is that you should never assume that you are safe from the law because of your age. This is especially true for our 17 year olds who are automatically treated like adults.