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.
Magistrate Judge, Fulton County
Guardian Ad Litem, Cobb County
Happy Valentine's Day Weekend! It is my honor to introduce you to Judge Andrew Margolis. Andrew serves the people of Fulton County as a Magistrate Judge and is also certified as a Guardian Ad Litem in Cobb County. As a judge, Andrew has handled numerous cases with kids ages 17-19. This age range is difficult because while the kids are legally "adults," their brains are still developing and they are more prone to acting impulsively and irrationally. Andrew has seen many parents face heartbreak over the harsh penalties these children face and is a strong advocate for accountability courts for youthful offenders in the adult court system. As a Guardian ad Litem, Andrew advises the Court in cases involving custody of young children. Andrew explains further: "rather than advocate for one parent or the other, my job is to make recommendations to the Court that protect the best interests of the children involved." He also owns and runs his law firm, The Margolis Legal Group, a firm that handles family law and criminal matters. In his free time, he is a musician and assists his wife, Mindy, in teaching group music classes to preschoolers. As you can see, Andrew is quite busy (to say the least!) serving our community and youth. I know you will find this feature informative and engaging!
"Children need to be educated when they are coming out of the juvenile system that the adult system is focused much more on punishment, and not as much on rehabilitation. I would like to see a special accountability court similar to a drug court for youthful offenders in the adult system. That is to say, a team-based approach that addresses some of the underlying issues related to the teen’s conduct, as well as holding the individual accountable for their conduct."
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.