In the Matter of A.L.P., 2021-NCCOA-244

Reversed and Remanded

Facts: The juvenile was charged with simple assault for pushing another juvenile onto a bench at a roller skating rink. The juvenile testified on his own behalf and the court did not provide any oral or written warnings to him before he testified. He was subsequently adjudicated delinquent.


Opinion: G.S. 7B-2405(4) mandates that the court protect the right of the juvenile to assure the privilege against self-incrimination through use of the word “shall.” The court’s failure to engage in a colloquy with the juvenile to ensure that the juvenile understands this constitutional right is error. This error was prejudicial to the juvenile, as the prosecution relied on only one witness (the alleged victim), the juvenile admitted to pushing the other juvenile, and did not assert a defense related to the push. His testimony formed the basis of and corroborated the assault charge. The error was not harmless error beyond a reasonable doubt.


NOTE: This is an unpublished opinion.

Juvenile Rights
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