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Can I be charged as an adult if I am a juvenile?

| Jun 17, 2021 | juvenile crimes |

It is possible for you to face adult charges if you are under the age of 18. The situation is highly dependent on the charges you face and the circumstances of your case. In most cases in the state, though, if you are 17 years old, you will go to adult court and not juvenile court.

The AP reported Georgia currently has a bill to alter adult charges against juveniles. It would increase the age for adult charges from 17 to 18 for most charges. However, there will still be exceptions.

Adult charges for juvenile crimes

There are some crimes for which the state can always charge a juvenile as an adult. These are violent and severe crimes. They include armed robbery, rape, murder and child molestation. These are seen under the law as adult crimes if you are at least age 13. If you are 17 years old, then you could face adult charges for gang crimes as well. It is likely these charges would not change even if the current bill passes into law.

The current bill

The goal of the current bill is to raise the juvenile age to 18, which would prevent you from facing adult charges at age 17 as it currently stands under the law. Those who support this bill note the undeveloped brain of individuals under the age of 18 as a reason to not charge you with an adult crime at age 17.

Charging underage children with adult crimes is always controversial. However, in Georgia, once you are 17, the law basically sees you as an adult when it comes to criminal charges. However, there are always exceptions and the new bill could change things.