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First Appearance Hearing


If the juvenile is charged with a felony, they will be scheduled for a First Appearance Hearing.  A sample petition has been attached below. The judge will complete the document when the juvenile is before them.


Requirements of a First Appearance Hearing

After filing, the law requires that a juvenile goes before a judge for a First Appearance Hearing within 10 days of filing the petition with the Court. The juvenile and parents will receive the hearing date when they are provided with copies of the petition(s). 

During the hearing, the Judge will

  • Advise the juvenile what charges were brought against them and the facts behind those claims

  • Figure out if the juvenile has been assigned an attorney or is paying for one

  • Inform the juvenile that they will have another hearing in 15 days to discuss if the State of North Carolina can prove that the juvenile committed the criminal activity; this is called a Probable Cause Hearing

  • Instruct the parent(s) that they must attend all hearings, and if they fail to do so, they may be held in contempt of court

If the Judge finds that the juvenile does not have an attorney, they must assign one during this hearing.

Sample First Appearance Hearing.PNG
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