I have been representing young people in the Gwinnett County Juvenile Court for over 18 years. I have watched it become an efficient and well-managed Court. When I first appeared in Gwinnett Juvenile Court years ago, it was cramped into small courtrooms on the main floor of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Children and their families appearing for Court had to wait in the same hallway as adult offenders and anyone else having business in the Courthouse. There were only two Judges who had to handle the entire case load. And, to make it all more unpleasant, one of the most infamously rude people I have ever met in any Court system served as a Bailiff and would bark orders at everyone.
But, Gwinnett County has invested a lot of time and money into improving the operations and facilities of the Juvenile Court. The Court now occupies the entire third floor of the Judicial Annex, plus some offices on other floors. There are three full time judges. Recently, a spacious, comfortable waiting area has been built so that children do not have to wait in the same areas as adult offenders. And, very importantly, the current Bailiffs and other court support staff members are professional and friendly. The Gwinnett Juvenile Court is now one of the finest in the State of Georgia.
The Gwinnett County Juvenile Court has jurisdiction to hear all criminal allegations (to include traffic offenses) against people under the age 17. Such cases are typically called Delinquent actions. Additionally, the Court has jurisdiction to hear actions alleging that a child under the age of 18 is unruly, deprived or a runaway. Capital offenses involving defendants under the age of 17 may be heard in either the Juvenile Court or the Gwinnett Superior Court, depending on certain factors.
Most criminal cases appearing in Gwinnett Juvenile Court are closed through negotiations and often result in the juvenile being ordered to attend some form of counseling and being supervised on probation. However, the juvenile does have the right to deny the allegations and have a trial before a Judge. At the trial, the juvenile has important rights, to include the right to be presumed innocent, to remain silent or to testify, to be assisted by an attorney, to confront his/her accusers, to present a defense, and to require that the allegations be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
For certain allegations, the juvenile can lose the right to drive, and for more serious offenses, can be sentenced for 30 days or up to three years in detention.
The Gwinnett County Juvenile Court is in the Judicial Annex Building located at 115 Stone Mountain Street, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046. It is on the 3rd floor in the same building as the Gwinnett County Recorders Court.
There are currently three full-time Judges who hear cases in the Gwinnett Juvenile Court. Additionally, Judges from the Magistrate Court will fill in for the full time Judges as needed: The three full-time Judges and their contact information is as follows:
If you have a child who is facing charges in Gwinnett County Juvenile Court, you are welcome to call me and discuss the matter.
About the Author Attorney Robert “Bob” Giannini handles criminal defense and personal injury
cases throughout the metro Atlanta and north Georgia area. With almost two
decades of experience, Bob has the knowledge and experience...Read More