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Georgia Juvenile Crime Laws

Georgia juvenile crime laws provide a range of responses a court may take to address criminal acts carried out by children. These include programs for the oversight and even incarceration of children, depending on the severity of their acts.

The following chart provides an overview of the Georgia juvenile crime laws:

Statute Georgia Code, Title 15-11.470; Georgia Code, Title 49-4A
Children in Need of Services

Georgia juvenile crime laws designate a child as a "child in need of services" when they:

  • are habitually truant;
  • are habitually disobedient of their parent or guardians or places themselves or others in unsafe situations;
  • run away from home;
  • commit an offense only applicable to a child;
  • loiter in public between midnight and 5AM; or
  • patronize any bar where alcohol is sold unaccompanied by their parent or guardian.
Designated Felony Acts

More serious delinquent acts are called designated felonies and include the following:

Class A Designated Felonies

  • aggravated assault where a serious bodily injury occurred;
  • aggravated battery;
  • armed robbery not involving a firearm;
  • arson in the first degree;
  • attempted murder;
  • escape, if the child was previously adjudicated guilty of a class A or B designated felony act;
  • hijacking of a motor vehicle;
  • home invasion of the first degree;
  • kidnapping;
  • participating in criminal gang activity;
  • trafficking in drugs; or
  • any other act that would be a felony if the child was an adult if they have three times previously been adjudicated for delinquent acts, all of which would have been felonies if tried as an adult.

Class B Designated Felonies

  • aggravated assault where no serious bodily injury occurred;
  • battery
  • robbery
  • arson in the second degree;
  • racketeering;
  • smash and grab burglary;
  • home invasion in the second degree;
  • attempted kidnapping;
  • gang activity;
  • activity involving destructive devices; and
  • some subsequent violators of various kinds.

Some Georgia juvenile crime laws specify the conditions regarding of imprisonment of juveniles:

  • any child adjudged to have committed an act which would be a felony in superior court and who, on a second or subsequent occasion, is convicted of a felony in superior court, may be committed as a youthful offender;
  • any child convicted of a felony punishable by death or confinement for life shall only be sentenced into the custody of the Department of Corrections;
  • those turning 17 have their cases reviewed by the court to determine whether, upon turning 17, they should receive a reduced sentence, enter into probation, or be transferred to the Department of Corrections for the remainder of their sentence.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

To find more information on Georgia juvenile crime laws check the following links:

Learn More About Georgia Juvenile Crime Laws from a Lawyer

A child facing criminal charges or delinquency proceedings needs the best representation possible as the outcome of a juvenile proceeding may impact the child's opportunities and create restrictions for them long into the future. If your child has been charged under Georgia juvenile crime laws, it's a good idea to contact a local criminal defense attorney who can provide legal advice on how to proceed based on the specific facts of the case.

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