Depending on the jurisdiction (or county, in the instance of juvenile court) where your child is charged, the time frame from the actual incident in question to the first court date may vary.
As outlined in my parent's guide book, parents can assist in their child's defense by providing their attorney with documents and materials. Each of these documents will allow the attorney to better understand the child's situation in order to provide the most aggressive defense possible. Please note that all of the documents may not apply to every child.
Did you know that Georgia’s criminal justice system considers a 17 year old to be an adult? Imagine this scenario: after going to a party and drinking, a teen robs an Uber driver with a toy gun. If this teen is 16 years old, the case will be handled in juvenile court and the teen will face a few years in a juvenile detention center (at the most). If 17, the teen faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in adult prison-- with no parole allowed.
These outcomes are as different as night and day. Many parents are not aware of this nuance and how it could impact their child and other children in the community. Understanding this distinction might save your child and family a lot of potential heartache.
Sometimes “you don’t know what you don’t know.” A perfect example of this is in juvenile court. Prosecutors and judges know what a child has been accused of doing, but they don’t know who the child really is as a person.
Is the child an excellent math student, or do they work with younger students at their Tae Kwon Do studio after school? Do they walk their elderly neighbors dog each day for free? This is all information a court should know about a child.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.