After years of work from activists, the North Carolina legislature finally voted to raise the age of who can be considered an adult in North Carolina state court. Previously, someone as young as 16 could be charged as an adult in North Carolina. Starting in December 2019, those under 18-years-old will be considered juveniles for most charges.
Pursuant to HB 280, anyone under 18 who commits an infraction, traffic violation, or misdemeanor will be a juvenile delinquent. The North Carolina juvenile court system generally has different methods of dealing with court cases, and often implements sentences that are focused on rehabilitation rather than just punishment.
However, those accused of a violent crime may still be processed through the adult system, depending on whether probable cause exists and whether the District Attorney can obtain an indictment. If accused of a violent crime, those as young as 13 may be processed through the adult courts.
Ultimately, this is a huge win in North Carolina. Not only does it ease the docket in the district court, it also keeps juveniles from being pushed through adult courts for what are often simply lapses of judgement. Please note that until December 2019, those under 18 can still be charged as adults.
If you have been charged criminally in Wake or Durham County, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Guirguis Law for a free consultation. We can be reached at email@example.com or (919) 832-0500.