North Carolina

Police can’t charge 6-year-old with crime in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, NC — A victim said a 12- and 6-year-old robbed her on Sunday and pointed a BB gun at her on the Diamond Creek circle.

While the 12-year-old faces charges, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it cannot bring criminal charges against the 6-year-old.

“I think we have to view this 6-year-old child as a victim of the circumstances of his environment. We cannot charge a 6-year-old child in the state of North Carolina,” CMPD Captain Jason Helton said. .

So is it true?


“Under current law, a person must be 8 years of age or older for proceedings to be brought against them whether it is a juvenile complaint or criminal charges,” Lee told WCNC Charlotte. .


North Carolina allowed prosecution of children as young as 6 until 2021, when lawmakers raised the age to 8.

“Under current law, 8 years is the limit for anything and if you’re six you can’t be charged, whether it’s murder, it wouldn’t matter,” he said. Lee. “NOW [at] 8 and 9 years old, there are some warnings for serious crimes or repeat offenders. They can bring them to justice, but they try to keep them in consultation to help them.”

Lee said that’s because children don’t have the mental capacity to form criminal intent.

“They don’t know right from wrong and from a lawyer’s perspective, they can’t help their case because they don’t appreciate the consequences,” Lee said.

According to the National Juvenile Justice Network, 24 states have no minimum age for prosecuting children.

Here in North Carolina, we can verify that, yes it’s true, the police cannot charge a 6 year old with a crime.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mb[email protected] and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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