THE BIG TWO AREAS OF JUVENILE LAW
In Georgia, there are two basic areas of juvenile law. Each of these areas presents a specialized area where a parent should consult with an experienced juvenile law attorney. The general “Big 2” are:
(1) Delinquency – A child under the age of 17 years is charged with an offense which would constitute a crime if he or she were an adult (i.e. shoplifting, battery, drug offenses, etc.).
(2) Dependency – A child is in need of protective intervention by the Court as a result of abuse, misconduct, neglect, or lack of proper care by the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian. Such cases often involve DFACS, but may be originated by others such as grandparents.
Cases alleging that a child has committed a delinquent offense are serious matters. Certain offenses may result in probation, detention in a youth facility, fees, loss of driving privileges and even removal of a child from the home. As with any allegation of criminal conduct, a parent should consult with a knowledgeable juvenile law attorney to assist their child in this matter. The rules and options are different in juvenile court.
Delinquency actions should be taken very seriously and have the potential to harm a child’s future. Many common issues with delinquency, such as underage drinking, result in moderate punishments like community service, probation, or making restitution. But young people can find themselves charged with serious felonies. Such crimes are punished with time in Youth Detention Center (YDC) or a Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC). These are hard places for any child to be.
In DFACS matters, parents often feel they are the accused. It is necessary for a parent to have an advocate on their side to address allegations that their child is deprived. In other situations, grandparents find themselves raising grandkids. Parents often feel that fingers are pointing at them for their child’s behavior. A qualified family and juvenile law attorney can provide direction and representation in these areas.
Dependency actions have the potential to result in the permanent removal of a child from a parents custody, and in some circumstance the termination of a parent’s parental rights, it is essential for any parent subject to a dependency action to contact an attorney who understands the complexities of Georgia family law and Georgia’s Juvenile Court system as soon as possible.
WHY CONSULT WITH US
The attorneys at Pasley, Nuce, Mallory & Davis, LLC, have represented many clients, and acted as Guardian ad litems (representing a child’s best interest) in the juvenile court system. Contact us today at any of our 4 office locations for a free initial consultation regarding your juvenile issues, and see how you can put our knowledge and experience to work for you.