Juvenile’s Prosecuted as Adults

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O.C.G.A. § 15-11-560 empowers the District Attorney to prosecute (or decline to prosecute)  a child in the  Superior Court of Georgia (Adult Court), between thirteen and seventeen years old.  Georgia law requires District Attorneys to make this determination  “after investigation and for cause”.  The offenses that children can be prosecuted in Superior Court are:

  1. Murder
  2. Murder in the second degree
  3. Voluntary Manslaughter
  4. Rape
  5. Aggravated Sodomy
  6. Aggravated Child Molestation
  7. Aggravated Child Molestation
  8. Armed Robbery with a Firearm

“Cause” is undefined by Georgia law.  “Cause” is left to be defined by the prosecutor assigned the case. Georgia’s code is “silent regarding standards, protocols, or appropriate considerations for decision making.

The only exception to the District Attorney’s final decision are cases “involving a child 13 to 17 years of age alleged to have committed voluntary manslaughter, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, or aggravated sexual battery.  In theses cases, after indictment a Defendant has a right to petition the judge to transfer a case to juvenile court without the District Attorney’s approval when the judge “finds extraordinary cause”.

If you are child is faced with being prosecuted in adult court, you need to hire an attorney as soon as they are arrested.  The decision on whether a case goes to Juvenile Court or Superior Court is generally made quickly.  The decision will follow your child for life.

Attorney Andrew Lynch has defended children prosecuted as adults.  If you need help contact him today!

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