Tab/Accordion Items

No. Deferred prosecution, continued discharges, and prayer for judgements are not counted as prior convictions for the purposes of determining whether a youth is excluded from juvenile jurisdiction. Your local district attorney or judge may decide to operate under an alternative decision regarding whether to count PJCs, deferred prosecutions, or conditional discharges as prior convictions. The JJRA statute is unclear on this point, and many experts disagree on the interpretation of existing case law. Juvenile Justice has chosen this policy, which is consistent with other interpretations, as we attempt to do no harm, and exercise caution in excluding a juvenile from juvenile jurisdiction.

Scenario: A 16-year-old on adult probation with no prior conviction is on pretrial release electronic monitoring. He removes his adult probation EM device.  Since the youth is 16, he removed his bracelet after 12/01/19, and he has no criminal conviction, can NCGS 14-226.3, Interference with electronic monitoring device be the offense on which the complaint is filed?

Yes. § 14-226.3 has been added in NC-JOIN to allow for this offense. Please note that § 14-226.3 is not applicable when the electronic monitoring device is issued in response to a juvenile (7B) offense. The statute specifically states, “This section does not apply to persons who are being monitored by an electronic monitoring device pursuant to the provisions of Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, or Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.”

For an A-G Felony on a 16 or 17 year old, do you have to have an indictment or can the matter proceed after probable cause has been found? On pages 47-48 of Jacqui Greene’s Implementation Guide it reads, "necessary for the prosecution to obtain an indictment, or waiver of an indictment, in order to proceed with the matter in superior court. Therefore, the indictment process must occur following the transfer of any matter to superior court based on a finding of probable cause in district court."

No. An indictment is not required to transfer a juvenile to superior court.

The JJRA requires the transfer of all Class A–G felony charges alleged to have been committed by youth at age 16 or 17 to superior court upon either (1) notice to the juvenile and a court finding that a bill of indictment has been returned charging one of these offenses or (2) on a judicial finding of probable cause for one of these offenses. It is important to note that the juvenile court loses jurisdiction upon transfer to superior court.  Jurisdiction of the transferred felony, any additional offenses aris­ing from the same act or series of acts, and any greater or lesser-included offenses are all shifted to the criminal process in superior court.

While superior court transfer of Class A–Class G felonies alleged against youth who are ages 16 and 17 at the time of the offense is required following a finding of probable cause or the return of an indictment, the transfer process can only be accessed after initiating juvenile jurisdiction in the district court.

Once the case has been transferred to superior court – and is now a criminal matter – the prosecutor will need to obtain an indictment. In criminal court the indictment is the charging document that initiates the criminal process. This is the process that exists for transferred cases now and it will remain the same. So, if the case was transferred after a finding of probable cause, then the indictment has to be obtained in the criminal matter following transfer. Juvenile justice doesn’t have a role in this process as it happens after the case is transferred.

Yes. When the juvenile is married, emancipated, or a member of the armed forces, juvenile jurisdiction ends.

S.L. 2017-57, Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act otherwise known as “Raise the Age,” addresses offenses that occur on or after December 1, 2019.  The law is not retroactive and does not apply to criminal convictions before December 1, 2019. There is no existing legal mechanism to have any criminal conviction for an offense that occurred prior to 12/1/2019 heard as a juvenile matter.

Please note that the person responding to this inquiry is not a lawyer. The Office of Juvenile Defender was consulted in writing this response. If you would like to contact that office, you may by using the contact information at https://ncjuveniledefender.com/contact-us/.

If an indictment has been issued for a 16/17 year old and they are found not guilty by the Superior Court Judge, what happens next. Is there an automatic expungement for this? Also, If after transfer or indictment the District Attorney chooses to dismiss the matter, is there a process for this?

Once a case is transferred to superior court it becomes a criminal matter, just like all other criminal matters. The usual criminal court rules found in G.S. 15A-146 regarding expungements in the case of findings of not guilty or dismissal apply.

When an officer has arrested a 16/17 year old for a Chapter 20 offense and is also requesting petition of Chapter 14 violations that meet the criteria for a secure custody order, is one order to be honored over the other? A release order with a 500 bond on a traffic charge vs a secure custody order. Where does the juvenile go?

The choice is up to the officer on which placement to seek. One order is not honored over the other.

Juvenile detention staff do not have access to NCAWARE, and thus law enforcement should provide a detainer.

Yes, in combination with a secure custody order and petition in hand.

The most recent legislative amendments (S413 codified as S.L. 2019-186) changed the requirement such that convictions for misdemeanor motor vehicle violations other that impaired driving offenses (G.S. 20-138.1 and -138.2) and any findings of responsibility for motor vehicle infractions do not prevent future juvenile jurisdiction.  All other misdemeanor convictions do prevent future juvenile jurisdiction, including local misdemeanor ordinances.

Reference SL 2019-186, GS 7B-1604(b):

 A juvenile shall be prosecuted as an adult for any criminal offense the juvenile commits after a district or superior court conviction if either of the following applies:

  1. The juvenile has previously been transferred to and convicted in superior court.
  2. The juvenile has previously been convicted in either district or superior court for a felony or a misdemeanor. Violations of the motor vehicle laws punishable as a misdemeanor or infraction shall not be considered a conviction for the purposes of this subsection unless the conviction is for an offense involving impaired driving as defined by G.S. 20-4.01(24a)." Chief Ledford does a great job of explaining this at: https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/microsites/juvenile-law/resources-and-links-raise-age

When a juvenile has an adult court appearance, like driving on a revoked license or DWI, and is in juvenile detention for other matters, how are they going to be brought to court or how will we know they are located in detention so they do not get a failure to appear on the adult charge? Example – We charge the 16 year old juvenile for DWI. He was released. Another county charged the 16 year old with felony drugs/ weapons violations and he was placed in juvenile detention. His criminal court date is coming up here. How will we know he is in detention and who is responsible for bringing him?

Juvenile Justice is responsible for transporting juveniles from juvenile detention to adult court unless the transport is for a Chapter 20 motor vehicle offense committed on or after December 1, 2019 by a 16 or 17 year old. In those instances, law enforcement is responsible for the transport.

A writ would be supplied by the local authority to the Chief Court Counselor’s Office and law enforcement. That office will supply the transportation coordinator and detention supervisor with the required information for transport.

The Court Counselor/Court Counselor on call has access to a juvenile’s detention location in NC-JOIN.

The UNC-School of Government and Juvenile Justice are happy to provide you with the following link to online training (full training videos and brief snip-it trainings, powerpoints, and case scenarios) regarding Raise the Age implementation: https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/microsites/juvenile-law/resources-and-links-raise-age

There are currently no PSAs, but we do have an active social media campaign that employs many of the learning aids on the UNC-SOG resource site: https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/microsites/juvenile-law/resources-and-links-raise-age.  

Some other resources:

As a provider that attended the Raise the Age workshop, I left with some questions about CJLEADS.  We at XXX work closely with DJJ in multiple counties to support in assessment and referrals.  I am wondering if CJLEADS is something that providers will be able to access?  Also as a provider, I was curious about our organization being on that list in CJLEADS and wondering how we can see what is in the directory about us and our services.

The Public Facing Service Directory is available at https://www.ncdps.gov/juvenile-justice/service-directory. There, users are able to search Active programs by Program Location, Payment Type, Problem Behavior and/or Age of the person needing services. Information available about programs includes Program Name, a description of the program/service, contact information (phone number), program duration, population served, etc.

On the program provider side of interaction with the Service Directory; should a program wish to be listed in the Directory, we advise they reach out to their local Juvenile Justice Court Counseling Office and request to engage with one of the designated District Users (DU). The DU can send them an invitation for each unique service offered by the program, to submit records into the Service Directory. The process of completing a record and submission takes approximately 10 minutes and is conducted via a web-based application.

Providers will not have access to the CJLEADS law enforcement interface.

We are not seeking private solutions at this time, for juvenile transport. We have received 15 criminal justice certified positions to provide transportation across the state, and we are working with local law enforcement entities to provide supplemental contractual or reimbursement based transportation.

The law remains the same in terms of a 16- or 17-year old’s capacity to waive Miranda rights and the right to have a parent, guardian, or custodian present during a custodial interrogation. A person of that age can waive those rights if the waiver is done knowingly, willingly, and understandingly.

All program funding will come through either JCPC allocations or contracts accepted through the RFP process for Level II juvenile programming.

You may want to reference the second chance act, which is with the legislature and would allow for expungement of certain classes of offenses after a period of time, should the law pass. The only expungement detailed in RtA legislation relates to when a youth is reverse waived from the adult system, back to juvenile court (and thus the adult file would then be expunged).

My daughter was convicted at the age of 17 of [felonies] and has just completed her probation. She is 21 now. With the changes in charging minors now coming into effect- is there any hope of having her charges expunged or moved to her juvenile record now as opposed to staying on her permanent adult record?

You may want to reference the second chance act, which is with the legislature and would allow for expungement of certain classes of offenses after a period of time, should the law pass. The bill text is available at https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookup/2019/S562. Please note that the person responding to this inquiry is not a lawyer.

Two resources for you could be:

H1001, a minibudget, passed in October of 2019 and provided 244 positions and $43.5 million in FY 20-21 JJ funding to implement Raise the Age. Community Programs is posting RFPs and distributing new funds to counties for Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils to use locally to address locally identified needs. The JCPC Director can  be found at https://www.ncdps.gov/juvenile-justice/community-programs/juvenile-crime-prevention-councils.

For 16 and 17 year olds juveniles under juvenile jurisdiction, the level system will remain the same. But, for youth charged with an A-G offense for which they have been transferred to superior court (i.e., who have a longer detention stay), Juvenile Justice is exploring alternative programming options.

If you are interested in an internship with Juvenile Justice, I recommend your contacting the local Chief Court Counselor or Facility Director. There are 2 county-operated detention centers (Guilford and Durham), and sheriff office operated detention centers are beginning to open now (with Madison County being the first, and currently operational). The only additional youth development center beds scheduled to be built are in Rockingham County; that facility is projected to be completed in 2022. Original pretrial detainment is in juvenile detention, where various screenings and assessments occur. If in juvenile court, long-term commitment services are ordered to be provided at a youth development center, then youth receive additional assessments upon transition. There are also re-entry screenings and assessment that occur within YDCs and through 3rd party programming in the form of re-entry to release. 

Training provided to magistrates and clerks advises that you will need to use paper forms available at nccourts.gov for criminal offenses other than Chapter 20 offenses. Chapter 20 offenses can still be entered into NCAWARE. The magistrate will provide a copy of completed paperwork to the law enforcement officer, and a copy to the clerk. The clerk who received the completed paperwork will create the electronic record.

§ 7B-2204. Right to pretrial release; detention § 7B-2204. Right to pretrial release; detention  allows for a transferee housed in juvenile detention to be moved to a county jail in the county where the charges arose. What form is required for this transfer?

For offenses occurring on or after December 1, 2019 use AOC form CR-922. If the offense occurred before December 1, 2019, the youth can only be transferred into an adult confinement setting following a finding or plea of guilt in superior court.

The change in G.S. 7B-2204 that requires the transfer to the Sheriff at age 18 for youth whose cases have been transferred to superior court was part of Session Law 2019-186. The effective date for that entire session law states that the act become “effective December 1, 2019, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.” The changes therefore do not apply to offenses that occurred prior to 12/1/19.  The version of 7B-2204 that existed prior to 12/1/19 requires that youth who are transferred to superior court be held in juvenile detention if they are not released pending trial.