JUVENILE CRIMINAL LAW
in North Carolina
If a juvenile is charged with a felony, they must have a First Appearance Hearing and Probable Cause Hearing before they may reach this stage. If the juvenile is charged with a misdemeanor, then their case automatically starts here.
This part of the process is commonly called Plea. The juvenile will be responsible for either admitting or denying the charges. If the juvenile admits, then the case is scheduled for a Disposition Hearing. If the juvenile denies that they committed the crime, then the case is scheduled for a Trial.
Requirements of a Adjudication Hearing
If the juvenile admits that they completed the criminal act, then the juvenile's Attorney will tell the Court that they admit to the charges. Upon Admission, the Judge will read aloud a Plea and have the juvenile answer yes or no questions about the plea. The questions asked by the judge are intended to:
Instruct the juvenile that they have the right to remain silent nd any statements may be used against them,
Determine how well the juvenile understands the charges,
Inform the juvenile that they have the right to deny the charges,
Inform the juvenile that by admitting, they will not have the opportunity to speak with witnesses of the crime,
Determine if the juvenile is happy with their legal representation, and
Inform the Juvenile of the maximum probation they may receive.
If the juvenile denies the criminal charges, nothing else occurs at this stage. Jump to the Trial page.