Juvenile delinquency court is a division of the Superior Court of Coweta County. Juvenile delinquency proceedings involve children under the age of 17 (minor) alleged to have committed a delinquent act which would be considered a crime if committed by an adult. However, if the minor is over the age of 14 and the alleged delinquent act is a serious offense, such as murder or sex crime, the minor could be tried as an adult in adult criminal court. The authority of juvenile court is contained at O.C.G.A.15-11-10.
The law says the court has to protect the public and minors who are subject to juvenile proceedings. To ensure this, juvenile court judges have to consider the following:
- How to keep the public safe and protected,
- How to help the victim, and
- What orders would be in the best-interest of the minor and victims.
The judge decides if the court will intervene in the minor’s future. If it does, the judge has to consider the appropriate course of action for the minor, and how to make the minor take responsibility for his or her actions. The court will then decide how to care for, treat, and guide the minor. This can include punishment so that the minor learns to obey the law.
The court wants the minor to learn to be positive member of his or her family and the community.