There are unique situations regarding minors when it comes to the law. A Macon juvenile law attorney who works in the Middle Georgia region could help you ensure the system treats them fairly.
Delinquency proceedings can occur when a child under the age of 18 is alleged of committing a crime.
A child (under the age of 18) faces Delinquency Proceedings when he/she is alleged of committing a crime. Childress & Justice attorneys represent juveniles in all phases of Delinquency Proceedings, whether the hearing relates to Detention, Adjudication, Disposition, or Restitution.
A child in custody is entitled to a Detention Hearing within 5 days if there is an arrest warrant. If there is no arrest warrant and the child is in custody, a hearing to determine continued detention of the child must be held within 2 days.
The State will present charges against the child in the form of a petition. An Arraignment Hearing is held so that the child can admit or deny the formal charges presented in the petition.
If a child denies the charges in the petition, an Adjudication Hearing (also known as a Full Scale Hearing) is set. The State must prove the charges, as alleged in the petition, beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the child admits to the charges or is found to be delinquent after an Adjudication Hearing, the court will then conduct a Disposition Hearing to determine the consequences of the child’s actions. Sentencing may include probation, fines, supervisory fees, detainment, essays, apology letters, and/or restitution. A Restitution Hearing may be necessary if the amount of money to a victim is in dispute, or if a parent does not wish to be responsible for the monetary damages caused by the child.
CHINS (Child in Need of Services)
CHINS cases operate in a similar fashion to Delinquency Proceedings. Where Delinquency proceedings involve criminal conduct, CHINS cases involve matters that are not criminal in nature, such as runaway or truancy matters.
The most common form of dependency case involves a child removed from their home by DFCS because of alleged abuse or neglect. A preliminary protective hearing is required within 72 hours of the child being removed from the home. It is vital to have an attorney at the beginning stages of dependency cases. Each parent, legal custodian, and child is afforded the opportunity to have their own, independent legal counsel. Childress & Justice attorneys represent parents and legal guardians, and can serve the dual role of representing a child as his/her express interest attorney and as guardian ad litem.
Guardian ad Litem
The role of the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is to do extensive fact-finding and report to the court an opinion concerning the best interests of a child. GALs are appointed in dependency cases and can be utilized in custody cases, whether the custody is an issue within a divorce, a legitimation proceeding, or custody modification proceeding.
Georgia law requires children between ages six and sixteen to attend school full-time. Ten or more unexcused absences can result in truancy proceedings in juvenile court.
If your child is suspended or expelled from school due to excessive absences, a hearing is required, typically before a Tribunal. A parent or legal guardian will receive notice of the hearing, including time and place. The child can present evidence at the hearing as to why the child should not be punished. This is done most effectively through an attorney, who can also provide suggestions for alternate types of punishment. It is vital to make a comprehensive case at the hearing, as any review will only deal with the facts divulged at that hearing.
If the Tribunal does not make a favorable ruling, its decision must be appealed within 20 days to the local Board of Education. While in very limited situations some local boards will hear other evidence, most will only consider the evidence presented at the Tribunal.
If the local Board of Education’s decision is also not favorable, it can be appealed within 30 days to the Georgia Board of Education. This requires the parent to file an appeal with the local school superintendent, who must then file the appeal with the Georgia Board of Education within 10 days. If necessary, the State Board of Education’s decision can be appealed to the Superior Court located in the school’s district.
Speak with a Macon Juvenile Law Attorney
If your child is in trouble, you should have a dependable attorney on your side. For more information regarding what a Macon juvenile law attorney could help you with, call now for a confidential consultation.