North Carolina will "Raise the Age" on December 1, 2019

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“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.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.