“Raise the Age” finally goes into effect next December!
North Carolina law will finally treat 16 and 17 year olds as juveniles for criminal purposes on December 1, 2019. We are currently the ONLY state in the country to treat 16 and 17 year olds as adults for criminal purposes. As a result, most 16 and 17-year-olds will be prosecuted in juvenile court beginning December 1, 2019. There are, however, some exceptions. Here’s what you should know about these big new Raise the Age changes to our law.
The Juvenile Age Will Increase
A “delinquent juvenile,” as defined by G.S. 7B-1501(7), will include 16 and 17-year-olds who commit crimes or infractions but that excludes violations of the motor vehicle laws. Some 16 and 17-year-olds will continue to be prosecuted in adult court for traffic offenses. Also, once a juvenile has been convicted of any offense in either district or superior court, including a violation of the motor vehicle laws, the juvenile will be prosecuted as an adult for all of his/her later offenses. So any 16 and 17 year olds who already have an adult conviction when “Raise the Age” becomes law in December 2019 will not be included. Minor traffic tickets should not qualify but the law is currently unclear on this. I expect the law to be amended to make that clear by December 2019.
Maximum Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction
The juvenile court’s jurisdiction will continue until age 19 for offenses committed by 16-year-olds, and to age 20 for offenses committed by 17-year-olds.
Relief for 16 and 17 year old children in North Carolina
This is a very important change to our law. Now 16 and 17 year olds will join those in all other 49 states and have any minor charges dealt with outside of the view of the public in juvenile court. This will help teenagers avoid a public record for committing a small misdemeanor charge. In terms of college applications it will help juveniles become more competitive with other states where there are no public records for juvenile offenses.
Contact a Wake County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are 14, 15, 16 or 17 and are charged with an adult crime or a juvenile crime contact us today. We handle juvenile cases as well as adult cases. When the law changes we will defend juveniles in the juvenile court system for any cases with 16 and 17 year olds charged with a crime. We are also hopeful that North Carolina prosecutors will take the coming change of law into effect when dealing with current cases for 16 and 17 year old juveniles between now and December 1, 2019. If you are 16 or 17 and are charged with a crime contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation at 919-585-1486.