Raleigh Juvenile Offenders

The purpose of the Juvenile Justice System is to rehabilitate delinquents through community-based programs such as community service, after-school programs, wilderness camps and others.

Juveniles and adults are treated differently under the North Carolina system of laws. Adults are considered to be completely responsible for their behavior. They can be arrested and charged with a crime. They face a trial by a jury of their peers. Adults are found guilty or not guilty and if they are found guilty, they are sentenced by the judge. The sentence depends upon the gravity of the crime and the interests of the state.

On the other hand, juveniles:

  • Are not arrested, but are taken into temporary custody
  • Have many, but not all, of the adults’ rights
  • Do not have a right to a jury trial and instead have a hearing before a judge
  • At the hearing, the juvenile can be found to be undisciplined or delinquent

Crimes committed by young people between 6 and 15 years old in Wake County, North Carolina, are overseen by the Juvenile Code. Juveniles have their own courtrooms and judges.

A juvenile enters the legal system when someone complains that he or she is:

  • Undisciplined
  • Delinquent

Undisciplined Juvenile

An undisciplined juvenile is someone at least 6 years of age and younger than 16. To be considered undisciplined means being any or all of the following:

  • Unlawfully absent from school
  • Regularly disobedient to and not within the disciplinary control of a parent, guardian, or custodian
  • Regularly visits places where it is unlawful to be a juvenile
  • Has run away from home for over 24 hours.

If the child in 16 or 17 years old he or she is considered to be undisciplined for all of the above except for being absent from school.

Delinquent Juvenile

A juvenile is considered delinquent if he or she is at least 6 years old, but not yet 16, and commits a wrongdoing that would be a crime under state or local laws if he or she were an adult.

A juvenile can be prosecuted as an adult if he or she is alleged to have committed a crime and if he or she is:

  • 16 or 17 years old or
  • Is married, emancipated or in the armed services

A juvenile alleged to have committed a felony who is 13 through 15 years old, may be tried as an adult in Superior Court. If the case transferred to adult court, the juvenile has all the constitutional rights of an adult. He or she may be sent to prison if convicted. If tried as an adult, the juvenile does not have the right to keep the trial record confidential. After a conviction in Superior Court, the juvenile will be prosecuted as an adult for any other offenses committed.

Under the North Carolina Juvenile Code, a juvenile considered to be a delinquent, must be represented by a criminal defense attorney.

Contact a Juvenile Offender Attorney in Raleigh

Curtis R. High, Attorney at Law is here to answer your questions and concerns. Contact a Raleigh juvenile offender lawyer today for a consultation.