NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina is ‘Raising the Age’ for minors that is.
House Bill 280 passed back in May and today Governor Roy Cooper signed ‘Raise the Age’ proclamation celebrating the new law.
“North Carolina became the last, but certainly not the least in making the juvenile age now 18 and not 16 as it has been,” District Attorney Ben David said.
With the Governor’s signature, 16 and 17-year-olds who commit non-violent crimes in North Carolina will remain juveniles in the court of law.
“I’m not a perfect person and I doubt very many people listening are either and very few of us were really old enough at age 16 to appreciate the consequences of our actions,” David said.
District Attorney Ben David said only around 3% of crimes committed by juveniles are violent. This is for the other 97% of crimes.
But this isn’t a free pass. Depending on the crime, teens could still do the time as an adult.
“Rape, murder, armed robbery, I don’t care if they’re 17 under the new law or 15 as it is right now. We are going to actively seek to transfer those cases from the juvenile system to the adult criminal system and have them tried as adults,” David said.
Judge J. Corpening said history has been made.
“This is a happy day for me. I’m so proud of our partnership here in New Hanover County lots of people came together to work on our effort all in the name of doing right by our children and that’s just exciting,” Corpening said.
Now those who break the law at a young age won’t have a criminal record that could affect their college careers or future jobs.
The law goes into effect in 2019.
Governor Cooper also signed Senate Bill 445 today, a chance for first time offenders under the age of 18 to have their records expunged depending on the crime.