Atlanta, Georgia Juvenile Defense Lawyer Q&A

Atlanta, Georgia Juvenile Diversion Programs and Benefits

By Attorney Thomas Nagel — Juvenile Delinquency & Criminal Defense Advocate



Every year more and more of our children are suffering from circumstances beyond their immediate control.  Whether it is mental health, poverty, fatherless homes, or drug abuse, our children are being subjected to delinquency and criminal charges in Atlanta and throughout the Great State of Georgia.

I have spent the almost 30 years defending juveniles charged as delinquents in juvenile courts.  I have also spent a great deal of my career fighting for the rights of juveniles who have been charged with more serious charges in Superior Court, either by waiver to adult court, or by prosecutors and judges who have charged juveniles with crimes in adult Superior Court.  Juvenile court proceedings are designed primarily to protect children and minors from the stigma, hard reality, and sometimes extreme punishment of being charged as an adult.

Most legal scholars, psychologists, attorneys, and juvenile court judges in Georgia believe that minor juveniles who get caught-up in juvenile court, do so because they are not completely aware of their own actions.  I believe these children do not have a fully developed thought or decision-making process.



Juveniles commit crimes for various reasons.  Often however, when a juvenile commits a crime or becomes involved with the juvenile court system a pattern has emerged over the child’s history.  Many factors often play into whether a child will be considered delinquent or commit a crime.  Some of these factors apply to many adults who commit crimes.  But these factors are significantly enhanced when faced by a child:

  • Personal Substance Abuse — If a child is using drugs or alcohol, they are significantly more likely to a commit a crime or become involved with the juvenile court system
  • Home Substance Abuse—A child living at home where their parent or guardians engage in alcohol or illegal substance abuse is much more likely to engage in illegal activity, engage in personal substance abuse, and commit crimes
  • Economic/Poverty– Juveniles who grow up without the basic-necessities of life are considerably more likely to engage in illegal conduct, commit crimes and be adjudicated juvenile delinquent
  • School – A student not going to school (truancy) are more likely to get in trouble
  • Physical Abuse—Juveniles who have been physically assaulted eventually act or lash out in many ways outside the home, engaging in assault and vandalism much more frequently than kids not physically abused. These criminal acts are in fact often associated with the physical abuse of a child
  • Fatherless homes—Children who do not have a stable two-parent home often find themselves in juvenile delinquency cases and are more likely to commit criminal conduct
  • Mental Health—Obviously a reason many juveniles commit crimes and are adjudicated delinquent

**These are merely some of the many reasons’ juveniles are even more susceptible to being charged with a crime and face significant obstacles to rehabilitation.  A child should not be scarred by a single mistake for the rest of their lives.




Fortunately, most people agree, as we noted above, that children need second chances in life.  Thus, there are programs established to help kids charged as juvenile delinquents or with other criminal acts, misdemeanors, dui’s or even traffic offenses to help aid in the resolution of juvenile charges.  Sometimes these programs may be entered into even before a juvenile delinquency petition or juvenile criminal charges are even filed.

Juvenile Diversion Programs are the single best way an experienced juvenile defense attorney can help your child who has been charged, or may be charged, with a delinquency or dependency petition in juvenile court proceedings.

Juvenile diversion programs are not always available.  It is imperative then to seek help from an experienced Atlanta, Georgia juvenile criminal defense lawyer immediately who can help.  These programs are there to help your child and should be taken advantage of if any way possible. Below is a small sample of juvenile diversion programs throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas:

Here is an article where two teens have been charged with delinquency for charges that would have been misdemeanors if charged as adults.  Apparently the two teens knocked a cell phone and kicked another teen’s cell phone.  As a result, both teens were issued a citation and ordered to be in Family Court to face juvenile delinquency charges. Teens Charged with Juvenile Delinquency in Attempted Assault.  While this may seem a trivial matter, this situation can be very serious for these boys and their future.  We don’t know all the facts, but a good juvenile pre-trial diversion program may be exactly what these kids need.  They certainly need an attorney focused on juvenile defense to litigate their criminal and delinquency allegations.




Any juvenile case requires a different type of lawyer to handle your child’s delinquency matter in Family or Juvenile Court.  Juvenile Court cases are different than adult criminal cases. Experienced attorneys who have worked successfully with minors charged with delinquency and criminal charges are much better suited to handle these sensitive matters.

Do not allow your child to suffer possible life-long consequences of a bad choice.  Not all lawyers have the experience and expertise necessary to manage a juvenile delinquency petition.

I have made defending children charged with crimes a significant focus of my Atlanta criminal defense practice.  I regularly defend juveniles in delinquency cases, traffic tickets, DUIs, drug charges, truancy, running away from home, larceny/theft, shoplifting, assault, and more.  I have frequently represented juveniles charged with more serious charges as well, such as sex crimes, burglary, armed robbery, attempted murder, and more.

If you or a loved one, find yourself in need of an attorney, in or around Atlanta, Georgia to fight juvenile delinquency charges or juvenile criminal charges, please feel free to call me.  I have almost 30 years experience in defending juveniles charges with a crime.  I always offer a free consultation.  Please call me at 404-255-1600.



Dear Tom,

I just wanted to thank you again for everything. You saved my life. I’m so glad I picked you. What were the odds? I don’t know how you pulled it off. If I run across anybody that needs legal advice, I will recommend you. My life is back to normal thanks to you. I know it could’ve been much worse. Thanks Again!

With many thanks,



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