Tag Archives: juvenile defense

Raleigh Defense Attorney Answers, “Sentences for Juvenile First-Offenders?” (Video)

This is Part 6 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Sentences for Juvenile First-Offenders?


When juveniles are first in trouble or they’re charged for the first time, often unless it’s a very serious felony such as murder, armed robbery, or rape, unless it’s an extremely serious felony, a juvenile is normally going to be tried on probation.

That court counselor wants to try to keep the juvenile in the home, perhaps put services in place so they can be successful. If the juvenile violates their probation by going out and committing a new criminal offense or a more serious offense, that’s normally when the court counselor’s going to be looking at out-of-home placement option, whether it be a group home or another treatment facility.

If the juvenile continues to reoffend, potentially they would look at what we call a Youth Development Center, which is like a juvenile prison.

Will 18-Year Olds Soon Be Tried As Juveniles?

At first thought, most people think of juveniles as being 18 years old or younger, while adults are over 18 years old. However, in the North Carolina legal system, this isn’t necessarily so. If you are a 16-year-old in North Carolina (one of two states in the USA that follow this distinction), you can and will be tried as an adult for both violent and non-violent crimes.

North Carolina Juvenile Law | Juvenile Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley

As one of the leading juvenile defense attorneys in Raleigh, we are often confronted with the question, “Why isn’t my 16-year-old son/daughter being charged as a juvenile?” Historically, the law in North Carolina designated 16-year-olds olds as adults, no matter if the juvenile was charged with a misdemeanor or felony. However, this law may soon change.

If you are a juvenile, or a parent of a juvenile, and you were charged with a crime, don’t hesitate and contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh. We offer professional, comprehensive criminal defense strategies, and our goal is to prove your innocence, get the charges dropped, or reduce the penalties and long-term consequences of the alleged charges. Call us today at (919) 832-0307.

Possible Changes in North Carolina Juvenile Law

There are only two states in the United States that put adult criminal responsibility on 16-year-olds, including North Carolina and New York. Unfortunately, the statistics regarding youths in adult prisons is not very positive. For instance, youths in adult prisons are more likely to re-offend, and although juvenile records are sealed, youths convicted as an adult will face a criminal record which may haunt them for years to come.

The goal is to turn this system around. The North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, convened by the North Carolina Supreme Court, released a preliminary proposal in August 2016, asking the state to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18. The General Assembly may consider this proposal in 2017.

In short, if this proposal is accepted, the 18-year-olds may be charged as juveniles for most non-violent crimes and some violent crimes.

Exceptions to the Proposed Changes

There are some exceptions to the proposed changes. For instance, the proposed changes don’t apply to juveniles charged with first-degree murder. The proposed changes may also not apply to the law that allows 13-year-olds to be transferred to adult courts for especially serious or violent crimes.

Nonetheless, most youths don’t commit violent crimes, especially murder. Most North Carolina youth are convicted of non-violent crimes related to drugs and larceny.

Contact Raleigh Juvenile Attorney Dewey Brinkley

These proposed changes will have a major impact on juvenile courts in North Carolina, and it’s always important to have a full understanding of the law if you or your child is arrested in Raleigh, Wake County, or throughout North Carolina.

No matter the exact age of the alleged juvenile offender, we at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley will do everything under North Carolina law to mitigate the consequences as much as possible. Whether drug crimes, non-violent crimes, or even violent crimes, we realize that adult courts can have dramatic consequences that may lead some convicted juveniles to re-offend and face other difficulties in terms of schooling, housing, and finding a job.

To speak with attorney Brinkley regarding your case, make sure to call our Raleigh law firm as soon as possible. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

Does My Child Have to Disclose a Juvenile Arrest When Applying for a Job?

When your son or daughter was arrested as a juvenile, it’s understandable to feel a bit worried for their future. This is especially true when it comes to job aspects or other applications that require a criminal background check. After an arrest and conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony as a juvenile, it’s important to understand some of the challenges and barriers that your child may face when looking for a job.

Juvenile Arrest Records in Raleigh NC | Juvenile Defense Attorney

As the leading juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh, NC, attorney Dewey P. Brinkley boasts years of experience representing juveniles. As a diligent and knowledgeable defense attorney, we can provide a rigorous defense following an arrest; after a conviction, however, we can help with criminal record expungements as well. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Raleigh law firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

Does My Child Have to Disclose a Juvenile Arrest?

In North Carolina, the juvenile code typically limits access to juvenile records by public and state entities, and there is little opportunity for future employers or colleges to access these records. Under certain circumstances, however, others may be able to access your child’s juvenile records.

Furthermore, the disposition of a juvenile case (in legalese, “disposition” essentially refers to the court’s decision of a case) is known as an adjudication, and not a
conviction. As such, if the job application asks whether the applicant was convicted of a crime, you are telling the truth by saying “No.”

According to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-3000, a juvenile’s record (which contains all documents or information referring to arrests, complaints, referrals, juvenile petitions, and orders) is generally confidential. There are some exceptions to this confidentiality, including:

  • Probation officers and prosecutors may share information with other law enforcement individuals
  • Court counselors and prosecutors may access your child’s record
  • The child’s school principal can access the child’s record (the principal must be notified if the child was adjudicated for an act that would be a felony)
  • Specific agencies can access the child’s record, such as agencies investigating child abuse or neglect
  • The child’s attorney, his/her parents, and the child him/herself can access the records
  • The juvenile record can be disclosed under court order

Expunging or Sealing a Juvenile Court Record

Even if the juvenile record is confidential in North Carolina, it still exists. This can bring some anxiety for both the child and his/her parents. Fortunately, North Carolina law understands that juveniles sometimes make mistakes.

When “removing” these records from the child’s file, there are two options: sealing and expungement. In terms of sealing, it is the juvenile court judge who has the authority to seal records at the time of the court proceedings.

For maximum confidentiality, the child can have his/her records expunged after turning 18. An expunged record functions as if it doesn’t exist, and the child is never required to disclose information about the expunged juvenile record (except in very specific, rare circumstances).

To expunge your child’s record, he/she he may file a petition for expungement in the court of his or her adjudication.

There are some exceptions to expungement, however. If the child was arrested for  Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felonies, and the child was charged as an adult, then he/she may be unable to expunge those records.

Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley

If your child was arrested for a crime and adjudicated in juvenile court, then he/she may be able to expunge his/her juvenile records at the appropriate time. At the time of arrest, however, you can always benefit by having an experienced and competent juvenile defense attorney. At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC, we’ve successfully defended numerous juveniles for a wide variety of alleged offenses, and we can also help with your record expungement as well.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.