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Smith Welch Webb & White Blog

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Help! My child is in trouble with the law.

It’s a phone call that every parent dreads – finding out their child is in trouble with the law.  

Here’s what every parent should know about juvenile law in Georgia:

Governor Nathan Deal signed a new law that went into effect this year which aims to reduce the number of juvenile offenders in custody.  The goal of the new law is to separate the kids that are truly dangerous from the ones that are simply misbehaving. 

This is a positive change for many reasons, including saving taxpayer money and getting juveniles into community-based programs rather than being locked up.  Community programs often include intensive therapy for the child and the child’s family and have proven to reduce recidivism. 

The new law prohibits juveniles from being placed in a detention center simply for committing misdemeanors.  And it prohibits judges from locking up young juveniles who commit “status offenses,” which are acts that are only prohibited by law due to the person’s age, like truancy and violating curfew.

Today, only juveniles who have proven to be a danger to themselves or the community should be placed in a detention center. 

And while the recent juvenile justice reform includes many changes for the better, families should not rely on the justice system to determine what’s best for their child.  If your child is in trouble with the law, you should immediately consult with an attorney who is well-versed in juvenile law.  This could be a pivotal time in your child’s life, and he or she needs the best advocates available. 

For more information on family law, contact Elizabeth Pool here or call (770) 775-3188 to schedule an appointment. Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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