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Carilyn Ibsen PLLC
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Juvenile Law

Mecklenburg County Juvenile Attorney (888) 543-2427

Juvenile Law, juvi case, minor, juvenile courtJuvenile cases are treated very differently than adult cases. Many times you will hear the term ‘juvi case’ when referring to cases involving minors. North Carolina treats anyone under the age of 16 accused of a crime as a ‘minor’ or ‘juvenile’. The court process is different for juveniles. The main difference is that all records are sealed from the general public. This is different than the term ‘being treated as an adult’ where your arrest, pending case, and any conviction are public record.

A juvenile or minor is not entitled to a bond hearing. The minor and parents must attend a detention hearing where the court decides whether or not the minor should stay ‘in custody’, called detention, rather than being released to a guardian or parent. The court will look at the facts of the case, any prior criminal acts by the minor and whether the minor will appear in court on the scheduled date. Often if the minor is released, there are conditions placed on the minor, including curfews.

Juveniles do not have the same right to a jury trial as adults. In Juvenile court, even though the minor is accused of a criminal offense, he/she is not entitled to a jury trial. Instead the Judge will ultimately decide, through a court trial, whether the minor has committed the offense. However the state must still prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  If a judge finds the minor committed the crime and the minor is sentenced, the minor is not technically ‘convicted’ of any offense. Rather a petition has been sustained. The judge conducts the sentencing but will be given a great amount of input from ‘court counselors’. Court counselors are very similar to probation officers. The juveniles record should then be sealed.


It is important to note that in serious cases like Murder, Rape and Carjacking, the State will likely request a ‘transfer hearing’ in juvenile court. In a transfer hearing, a judge decides whether or not the minor’s case should be heard in adult court. If the court decides the case should be transferred, at the conclusion of the transfer hearing, the minor will be treated like any adult. This is also done in cases where the minor has a lengthy history of criminal activity.

For assistance with any juvenile case in Mecklenburg or surrounding county, please contact the Law Office of Carilyn Ibsen PLLC at (888) 543-2427.


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