Juvenile being tried as an adult

On Behalf of | May 27, 2020 | Criminal defense, juvenile crimes |

There are many cases when a minor commits a crime and instead of having his or her case tried in juvenile court, the minor is tried as an adult. For many, this can be a hard-hitting reality, but it is important to know what measures can be taken to further understand the legal system and the controversial age limit that Georgia has in order to try people as adults in court.

Age limit

In Georgia, the minimum age that a person must have to be tried as an adult in court is of 17 years. This has spawned a great deal of controversy throughout the years since many lawmaker consider that 17 is still quite young to be tried as an adult.

Currently, in the United States, only three states try youths over 16 as adults, and they are Wisconsin, Texas and Georgia. A law that that came out in 1994 held that teenagers from Georgia state (ages 13 to 17) shall be tried as adults depending on the severity if their crime. For example, if a teenager murdered or sexually assaulted someone, then that teenager will be taken to criminal court.


Sometimes, adult criminal court will hear a case from juvenile court once it is transferred to them. This transfer is known as a waiver. This means that the court has chosen to waive a minor from the protection that is invested to them by the juvenile court system and are instead tried as adults. The disadvantage of this happening is that a minor will have a far more severe sentence, if found guilty; the minor may have to serve time in jail or prison; it will have serious repercussions in the minor’s record.

The good news is that as of last year, several lawmakers are trying to make an effort for Georgia to raise the age minimum with a legislation called “Raise the Age”. As of this past March, the legislation has been moving forward in the state Capitol of Georgia.