District and superior court programs and services offer citizens avenues for resolving conflict in a less adversarial, more effective way. For more information on the various court programs available in New Hanover County, please click here; for Pender County court programs, please click here.
Drug & DWI Treatment Court (New Hanover only)
Persons with non-violent histories who are diagnosed with drug addiction may have their cases diverted to Drug & DWI Treatment Court, which meets on alternate Friday mornings, beginning at 8:00 am, before the honorable Judge James Faison III. Defendants appear every two weeks before the same judge and treatment professionals to monitor progress. Rigorous probation standards, frequent drug testing, and swift sanctions are key components to the success of individuals who remain integrated into the community through employment or schooling while fighting their addictions. You can learn more about Treatment Court here.
The District Attorney's Office prosecutes juvenile cases for defendants under 16 years of age. Juvenile Court is held every Tuesday at 9:00 am in New Hanover and on the first Friday of each month at 9:00 am in Pender. All information pertaining to Juvenile Court is strictly confidential; if you have questions, please call our front desk at 910-772-6900.
Juvenile offenders charged with non-violent offenses can have cases diverted from Juvenile Court into Teen Court where the case is heard before a jury of their peers. All participants, with the exception of the judge, are teenagers. Defendants must admit responsibility in order to be eligible, so the hearing is regarding the appropriate sentence rather than guilt or innocence. Teen Court, now in its 15th year, is overseen by Vantage Pointe; please visit their website for court dates and more information. You can read more about Ben David's thoughts on Teen Court in this article.
Underage Drinking Ticket & Fake IDs Deferred Prosecution
Our office, in partnership with NC ABC, introduced the Underage Drinking Ticket Deferred Prosecution program in 2014, one of four pilot programs in the state. The program allows for deferred prosecution of first-time offenders under 21 who are charged with drinking offenses who instead take part in education programs that include community service, time spent observing incoming traumas at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center emergency department, DWI Treatment Court, completion of the StreetSafe Alcohol & Drug Education Program, and 12 months’ probation. Upon completion of these requirements, the charges would be dismissed. In 2016, the program was expanded to include the provision that defendants charged with a fake-ID offense will have to surrender their real driver’s license to the court for 60 days. If an individual is found to have driven during these 60 days, they will face a termination of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
Criminal Record Expunction
Please see the attached brochure for current expunction information prepared by the North Carolina Justice Center. The DA's Office does not process requests for expungement, but we are entirely supportive of individuals moving past their criminal activity to become more productive members of our community.