Recently, North Carolina passed the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act which raises the age a person may be tried as an adult in North Carolina. Before the bill was passed, and since 1919, it has been mandatory in North Carolina to try juveniles ages 16 and 17 as adults.
The bill is the result of bipartisan efforts to raise the age juveniles can be tried in adult court. The effort began after the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ) released its Juvenile Reinvestment Report, concluding juvenile rehabilitation in juvenile court would reduce crime and save North Carolinians money in the long-run.
Beginning December 1, 2019, all 16 and 17 year olds charged with a crime, with some exceptions, will be prosecuted in juvenile court. If a 16 or 17 year old is charged with a motor vehicle offense, he or she will be tried in adult court. Additionally, if the juvenile is charged with a Class A-G felony, the charges will be transferred to adult superior court upon the notice of an indictment or a finding of probable cause by the court. Once a juvenile has been convicted of any offense in adult court, even a motor vehicle offense, the juvenile will be prosecuted in adult court for any subsequent offenses.
These are just some of the highlights. The bill almost completely overhauls the code as it relates to 16 and 17 year olds. For a more in-depth discussion of the changes, click here.
If you have additional questions or need to speak with an attorney regarding a criminal matter, contact an experienced North Carolina criminal attorney in your area today.
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