Effective December 1, 2019, the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (aka Raise the Age) raises the cut-off age for juveniles from 16 to 18. For offenses committed on or after this date, if the offender is under the age of 18 on the date of offense, the case must be initiated in juvenile court. Exceptions exist for emancipated minors, 16- and 17-year-olds charged with Chapter 20 offenses, and juveniles with prior criminal convictions in district or superior court.
The original "Raise the Age" legislation was enacted in 2017 with Session Law 2017-57 (Senate Bill 257). The effective date to increase jurisdiction is December 1, 2019, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.
In 2019, the General Assembly passed Session Law 2019-186 (Senate Bill 413), modifying the original legislation to facilitate its implementation.
Find information about juvenile court, filing a complaint, court process, and more.
View materials on the progress of North Carolina's Raise the Age initiative and OJD’s plans to prepare juvenile defenders for the changes in legislation.
Find Raise the Age information and resources about the changes, Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, and more.
Juvenile Recidivism Reports – North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission
North Carolina School Justice Partnership – A program focused on keeping kids in school and out of court.