The North Carolina House has passed a bill that would classify 16 and 17-year-olds as juveniles in court for committing misdemeanor offenses.
After lengthy discussion Wednesday, the Young Offenders Rehabilitation Act passed by a 77-39 vote.
The bill would also establish an advisory committee to create new civil citation processes for juveniles who are charged with misdemeanor crimes.
There was extensive discussion on the bill, particularly on an amendment that would exempt gang members and gang crimes. In the version that passed, 16 and 17-year-olds would be exempt from juvenile status if they are gang members and their crime was related to gang activity.
The bill now heads to the Senate.