Teenagers can’t wait to turn 18, believing that age officially makes them adults. But under Georgia law they can be treated as an adult sooner than they or their parents may realize.
”I learned that teenagers do not know our criminal laws or do not appreciate the consequences for breaking these laws,” says author, trial lawyer and former DeKalb county District Attorney J. Tom Morgan. According to reviews, “Ignorance Is No Defense – A Teenager’s Guide to Georgia Law” is considered “A must read for every Georgia teenager and parent,” breaking Georgia law down offense by offense in easy to understand language.
Morgan’s research found that 80% of Georgia students don’t know the exact age they are considered adults or about the “seven deadly sins”, which include: murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, aggra vated sexual battery and armed robbery with a firearm. If a person as young as 13 commits one of these crimes he/she will be charged as an adult, and ignorance of the law is no defense. As learned from the Genarlow Wilson case, mutual consent doesn’t matter, either. Georgia is one of only four states that observe this.
For example, “Sexting” is the latest trend among teens – and a criminal act they probably don’t realize they are committing. ”Sexting” is when minors send one another nude photos and videos via cell phone. ”If the person in the photograph is under the age of 18 it is child pornography,” says Morgan. “Even if the person is taking a picture of himself or herself, the person possessing the photograph could be looking at a 20 year felony charge.”
You thoughts? Morgan has spoken at 80 Georgia high schools on this topic and represented a few Clayton county teenagers as well - have you heard him speak or read his book?