The Juvenile Court Unit in the Wake County District Attorney’s Office consists of two assistant district attorneys and one victim witness legal assistant. The purpose and goal of the Juvenile Unit is to protect the public and deter delinquency and crime by providing swift, effective dispositions of cases that emphasize the offender’s accountability and provide appropriate rehabilitative services to juveniles and their families. It is also a goal of the Juvenile Unit to provide for uniform procedures that assure fairness and equity while protecting the constitutional rights of the juveniles, parents and victims, and to encourage the court and others involved to proceed without delay in following procedures as required by law.
The Juvenile Unit prosecutes cases in which a youth is alleged to be delinquent and those in which a youth is alleged to be undisciplined. A delinquent juvenile is any person who, while less than 16 years of age but at least 6 years of age, commits a crime or infraction under State law or under an ordinance of local government, including violation of the motor vehicle laws. An undisciplined juvenile is a person who, while less than 18 years of age but at least 6 years of age, is unlawfully absent from school; or is regularly disobedient to and beyond the disciplinary control of the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or custodian; or is regularly found in places where it is unlawful for a juvenile to be; or has run away from home for a period of more than 24 hours.
It is the role of the prosecutor to represent the State in delinquency hearings including first appearance, detention, probable cause, transfer, adjudicatory, dispositional, probation revocation, post-release supervision, and extended jurisdiction hearings. When a youth is found to be delinquent, it is the role of the prosecutor to advocate for an appropriate plan that is designed to meet the needs of the juvenile and to protect the public.