New Teen Court and Juvenile Justice Laws

Posted by Josh Valentine | Nov 27, 2019

Earlier this month, we discussed North Carolina's new “raise the age” law for juveniles. The raise the age law would no longer automatically try suspects under the age of 18 as adults. However, the legislature has also signed a number of other laws that apply to juvenile justice and teen court access. If your child is facing charges in North Carolina, contact Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, for a consultation.

Multiple Referrals to Teen Court

Under G.S. § 7B-1706, teen court provides a diversion plan for young people facing certain charges. If the juvenile and the juvenile's parents complete the terms of the diversion plan, a petition will not be filed against the individual. If the juvenile violates the agreement, a petition may be filed against the juvenile. 

Diversion plan contracts are also not public records and the charges will generally not follow the individual into their adult life. Diversion plan contracts are destroyed when the juvenile reaches the age of 18 or when the juvenile is no longer under the jurisdiction of the court. 

Previously, a juvenile could only be referred to teen court once. However, under the new law, a juvenile can avail themselves of teen court more than once. 

Expunging Charges for Young Victims of Trafficking

Another law that went into effect on July 1, 2019, will make it simpler for young victims of human trafficking to have criminal charges expunged from their record. Previously, juveniles with adjudicated offenses that were a result of being a victim of human trafficking had to wait at least 18 months after release from jurisdiction, without adjudication or conviction of other felony or misdemeanor offense, before being eligible for expunction. The new law removes the waiting period requirement. 

Photographing Juveniles at Show-Ups

There was previously some conflict between regulations that restricted photographing some juveniles but sometimes allowing photographing some juveniles during show-ups for certain offenses. A change in the law, effective June 26, 2019, provides clarification that allows photographing certain juveniles at the time and place of a show-up, for juveniles 10-years-old and over who are facing nondivertable offenses or common law robbery. These juveniles must be photographed at the time and place of a show-up. These photographs are not public records and are to be kept separate from any adult records. The photos are to be retained or disposed of following existing juvenile code provisions. 

Changes to North Carolina's Juvenile Justice Laws

These new laws, together with the raise the age law, should provide more opportunities for young people who are caught up with the wrong crowd. Giving young people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes will allow them to become productive members of society. If your child was arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, talk to an experienced juvenile defense attorney. 

At Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped teens and their families deal with juvenile charges to avoid a permanent record. Contact us today in Shelby for a consultation.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar