Georgia juveniles who are arrested for any reason will have understandable concerns as they prepare a defense. A conviction can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s life, even if it is someone younger than 18. Still, there are defense strategies that can be effective to avoid being convicted. In some cases, the person was defending him or herself and had the legal right to do so.
There are laws dictating when a person can use self-defense and their actions are justified. In Georgia, people have the legal right to stand their ground. There is no location requirement as to where a person can do this such as a home or motor vehicle. The key is that the use of force must be a reasonable response as a means of defense. It could also be in defense of another person.
The level of force a person uses in self-defense will be contingent on the severity of the threat. Deadly force can be used, but only when it is believed that the amount of force is needed to avoid death or suffering significant bodily harm. Deadly force will not be a sufficient defense if the person who is charged was the aggressor. Nor is it sufficient if the person commits, tries to commit or is fleeing after committing or trying to commit a felony.
After an arrest, a juvenile would be wise to consider the potential avenues of defense available given the penalties that might include fines and incarceration. For many, the act was not an overt crime but an attempt at self-defense. Discussing the case with a law firm experienced in juvenile crime and using self-defense to combat the allegations may help to reduce the charges or gain acquittal.