Is Transfer from Juvenile to Criminal Court Double Jeopardy ?
A juvenile argued that the juvenile court's transfer of his misdemeanor charges to the superior court for trial as an adult subjected him to double jeopardy.
The juvenile court adjudicated him delinquent on the misdemeanor charges and then bound these same misdemeanor charges over to the superior court for him to be tried as an adult.
The juvenile contends that since there was an evidentiary hearing where he was adjudicated delinquent on the misdemeanor charges, a trial in the superior court on those same misdemeanor charges violates his constitutional protection from double jeopardy.
"Jeopardy attaches when the juvenile is put to trial before the trier of facts, that is, when the Juvenile Court, as the trier of the facts, begins to hear evidence." Breed v. Jones, 421 U.S. 519, 531, 44 L. Ed. 2d 346, 357, 95 S. Ct. 1779 (1975); In re Drakeford, 32 N.C. App. 113, 230 S.E.2d 779 (1977).
Here, the juvenile court heard evidence regarding the misdemeanor charges and adjudicated him delinquent.
Then, the juvenile court transferred those same charges for trial in the superior court.
The binding over for trial in superior court following an adjudicatory hearing on the misdemeanor charges in the juvenile court constitutes double jeopardy, which the State concedes. Breed, 421 U.S. at 541, 44 L. Ed. 2d at 362. the juvenile court's transfer order of the misdemeanor charges is vacated and the case is remanded to the juvenile court for final disposition.