"To Empower our Youth with Positive Knowledge"
Juvenile Court is the primary agency for the judicial functions relating to persons under the age of seventeen years. The Court is required to receive and dispose of complaints in a manner that is in the best interest of the child and the community. Complaints are received from the Sheriff's Department, Board of Education and the community. Charges may be disposed of by Dismissal, Informal Probation, Formal Probation, or placing the youth in custody of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
The Court receives and disposes of all traffic citations issued to a person under the age of seventeen and hear cases referred by the Department of Family and Children Services. Those cases referred by the Department of Family and Children Services are reviewed for progress by the Citizen Panel for foster care review under the jurisdiction of Juvenile Court.
The Court provides an opportunity for accountability and rehabilitation through a variety of programs, such as Anger Management, Decision Making, Character Education, Adolescent Safe Passage, Substance Abuse and Life Skills Program, and Truancy Reduction Program.
JUVENILE COURT: HOW IT WORKS
Who are the people in Juvenile Court?
- JUDGE: The Judge hears cases and decides questions of law in court.
- STATE'S ATTORNEY: Usually the District Attorney (the "D.A." or "Prosecutor") is the one accusing the juvenile.
- DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This person's job is to ask for what the juvenile wants. For example, he or she may help the juvenile get out of detention, or avoid having to pay a fine.
- THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM (sometimes): When a child has been abused or neglected, sometimes the child has a guardian ad litem (GAL). The GAL asks for what is "in the child's best interest, for example, staying with grandma instead of mom.
- PROBATION OFFICER OR SOCIAL WORKER (DFCS): This person is responsible for a juvenile's case, to make sure the juvenile gets the treatment they need, and to make sure they fulfill their community service hours or other court orders.
- CLERKS: Sit in court and record everything that people say.
- BAILIFFS: These are usually county sheriff deputies. A juvenile could get in trouble with the bailiff if they are rude to the Judge.
Call the Department of Juvenile Justice office at 706-437-6845 to find out when their court date will be. The juvenile and parent will receive a notice to appear for traffic court in the mail approximately 3 weeks before their court appearance. A parent must accompany the juvenile to court on this date. If the juvenile is found guilty of the traffic violation, he/she may have to pay a fine, supervision fee, attend T.I.P.(Traffic Intervention Program),and/or suspension of driver’s license. The Judge may impose more or less sanctions depending on the charge and circumstances.
A person age 17 or older who was previously adjudicated as delinquent or unruly in juvenile court may file a request for sealing of records. The special procedure for sealing is available only if, after a minimum two year interim period following the final discharge of a juvenile from any official restraint, he/she has not been convicted of any criminal, delinquent, or unruly offense, nor are any such charges currently pending against him/her.