Update: The General Assembly has voted to "raise the age" through the state budget so that most 16- and 17-year-olds charged with crimes in North Carolina will no longer be treated as adults in the criminal justice system

North Carolina is the only remaining state in the nation that automatically charges all 16- and 17-year- olds as adults, regardless of the crime. For years the ACLU of North Carolina and our partners have urged officials to end this harmful and outdated policy that brands our state’s young people with lifelong criminal records and makes it harder for them to turn their life around.

House Bill 280 – which has received support from Republican and Democratic leadership, as well as children’s advocates and law enforcement groups – would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction for misdemeanors and low-level felonies, meaning that 16- and 17-year-olds charged with those offenses would be redirected to the state’s juvenile justice system.


Passed House



Bill number