(WSAV) – South Carolina is set to raise the age that suspects are considered juveniles next month.
Currently, 17-year-olds can be charged as adults, but starting July 1, that age will increase to 18.
Lawmakers say that by raising the age, youth offenders can stay in the family court system. The law was originally signed by Governor Nikki Haley in 2016 but was delayed until this year to take effect.
The law does not include minors with serious offenses. The law also extends the parole age for the Department of Juvenile Justice from 21 to 22 years old.