The Marietta, Georgia juvenile court defense attorneys at Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP, will provide effective representation if your teenage son or daughter has been accused of committing a criminal offense. We represent juvenile clients in Cobb County, Cherokee County, Paulding County, Bartow County, Fulton County, and throughout Georgia.
Georgia law defines a “child” for the purpose of juvenile court jurisdiction, as an individual under the age of seventeen (17) years old. If your son or daughter is under the age of seventeen (17) and has allegedly committed a criminal offense, the case will be handled in juvenile court (with some exceptions for the most serious crimes). The proceedings in juvenile court are quasi-criminal and the state prosecutor, just as with an adult defendant, must prove each element of the criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. It should be noted, however, that unlike an adult charged with a crime, a juvenile defendant does not have the right to a trial by jury; the juvenile court judge will make all decisions in the case. Juvenile court judges are empowered with a tremendous amount of discretion with how to handle your child’s case and this is why your family needs an attorney to advocate on behalf of your son or daughter.
In theory, the purpose of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate juveniles who have gone astray. Despite the stated intent of the juvenile justice system, the system has become more and more similar to the adult criminal justice system with many judges increasing punishment for teenagers charged with a violation of Georgia law. The attorneys at Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP, will work with parents and the child before going to court to create a plan of action that will serve the child well once he or she goes before the judge. Our experienced attorneys know how to assist our teenage clients to achieve the best outcome in their cases.