A recent report published by the Youth Advocate Programs Policy & Advocacy Center (YAP) in partnership with John Jay College of criminal justice reveals new insights on how communities can support high-risk youth to keep them out of the criminal justice system. The Safely Home Campaign "is a nationwide movement to safely care for all youth and young adults in their home communities and with their families" (See www.safelyhomecampaign.org).
In addition to juvenile delinquency cases, where juveniles can seek to seal their record, Georgia also permits "youthful offenders" (persons under 21) to restict records of convictions under certain circumstances. This category of record sealing deals with cases that were handled in adult, not juvenile court, and only applies to certain misdemeanor charges.
In my last blog on teen driving, I discussed Georgia's graduated driver's license process for those ages 15-18. There are a lot of specific rules and requirements, but what does this mean practically speaking?
One important take away for parents is that regardless of your child's age, the restrictions associated with an Intermediate Provisional License, or a "Class D" license, are based on the class of the license and not the age of the driver. The Class D license is the license your child gets after they graduate from a learner's permit but are not given the full privileges, of a "Class C" license (which is what we as adults have).
This becomes problematic when teens who are 18 years old do not take the steps to apply for a full, class C license. They may believe that because of their age the curfew restrictions and passenger requirements do not apply. However, if they do not abide by these rules and are stopped by law enforcement, they could be given a citation and then have to face the hassle of going to juvenile court.
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.
Medical Amnesty---what does this mean and why should parents care? Georgia’s Medical Amnesty law was passed back in April 2014, but many parents I work with are not fully aware of the law and its potential positive impact. Since we are in the thick of summer, where teen party-going tends to be more prevalent, let me take a minute to share with you some details about this law.
Georgia’s Medical Amnesty law protects people who call 911 to seek medical attention for a person who may have overdosed on drugs or alcohol. Neither the person calling 911, nor the victim of the overdose can be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for small amounts of drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia when evidence of the crime was found due to an individual seeking medical assistance.
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.