When a juvenile commits a crime, the case typically goes before the juvenile court in Georgia. Sometimes, though, a case may go to adult court even though the defendant is a minor. This is not a decision taken lightly nor is it one that follows a mandatory guideline. You may wonder how this decision is made. 

According to The New York Times, making the decision for a minor’s case to go to adult court is on a case by case basis. It is not a situation where all cases of a specific kind go to adult court automatically. The key is how each court handles the defendant after a conviction. 

Juvenile court is for rehabilitation and giving you a second chance whereas adult court is mainly for punishment. Only when the court feels you will not benefit from rehabilitation due to the heinous nature of your crime would it even consider moving your case to adult court. 

It is not so much about the nature of the crime but rather it is about the defendant. If you are the juvenile and the court feels you have no remorse and fully understand what you did wrong, then your case may very well go to adult court. Typically, though, the court recognizes the undeveloped nature of a child’s brain and leaves cases in juvenile court. 

The idea is to make a choice that best provides justice. The court always focuses on what is fair and just. If the court feels the juvenile court will not provide the justice needed, then the case goes to adult court. This information is for education and is not legal advice.