For many juvenile defendants, an arrest is the scariest event in their young lives. In the drama of an arrest or court case, it is easy to forget that a conviction carries lasting consequences which can follow a juvenile defendant well into his or her adult years. Protect your child’s future by hiring an experienced Georgia juvenile defense attorney to ensure his or her rights are protected. For decades, juvenile defendants and their parents have trusted Attorney Kyle Epps to protect their interests in the criminal justice system. Attorney Epps can help mitigate the damage of criminal charges, and ensure that your child is treated fairly throughout the process.
There are many collateral consequences to a criminal conviction – even for a juvenile defendant. Job prospects are often severely limited. Housing, professional licensure, education, welfare benefits, military records, immigration status, the right to serve in public office, and social opportunities can all be limited by the nature of the conviction. Even misdemeanors and juvenile records can bring lasting consequences to the defendant’s adult life. Here are some consequences you might not know about:
Professional Discipline: Any defendant who holds a professional license is subject to discipline by the licensing board. Sometimes, the discipline can occur before a conviction is even finalized. Doctors, lawyers, contractors, accountants, electricians, and many other professionals must report to state licensing agencies. In addition to any sanctions through the criminal justice system, their careers are placed in jeopardy when they are charged with a drug offense. For juvenile defendants, the existence of a criminal record may prohibit the grant of a professional license altogether. This will be at the discretion of the licensing agency.
Record Restriction of Juvenile Convictions: In Georgia, criminal record expungement is referred to as “record restriction”. This means that the records are not available to the public, and can only be accessed by law enforcement for criminal justice purposes. Certain misdemeanors committed before the age of twenty-one are available for record restriction. In order to qualify, the defendant must successfully complete his or her sentence and have been charged with no offenses in the five years prior to the request for restriction. More serious offenses (including DUI, vehicular homicide, theft, child molestation, most sexual offenses, and computer pornography) are ineligible for record restriction.
The Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Child’s Case
The outcome of a juvenile criminal conviction can affect a child’s life for years to come. Because these consequences can be so varied, and because there is no guarantee a juvenile record can later be restricted, it is vital that juvenile defendants receive skilled legal advice as soon as possible. Protect your teen’s legal rights by contacting a Georgia juvenile criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Suwanee, Johns Creek, Cumming, Forsyth County, Gwinnett County, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, or Dawson County juvenile defense lawyer, please call us today, or contact us online.