§ 7B-2501.  Dispositional hearing.

(a) The dispositional hearing may be informal, and the court may consider written reports or other evidence concerning the needs of the juvenile. The court may consider any evidence, including hearsay evidence as defined in G.S. 8C-1, Rule 801, that the court finds to be relevant, reliable, and necessary to determine the needs of the juvenile and the most appropriate disposition.

(b) The juvenile and the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian shall have an opportunity to present evidence, and they may advise the court concerning the disposition they believe to be in the best interests of the juvenile.

(c) In choosing among statutorily permissible dispositions, the court shall select the most appropriate disposition both in terms of kind and duration for the delinquent juvenile. Within the guidelines set forth in G.S. 7B-2508, the court shall select a disposition that is designed to protect the public and to meet the needs and best interests of the juvenile, based upon:

(1) The seriousness of the offense;

(2) The need to hold the juvenile accountable;

(3) The importance of protecting the public safety;

(4) The degree of culpability indicated by the circumstances of the particular case; and

(5) The rehabilitative and treatment needs of the juvenile indicated by a risk and needs assessment.

(d) The court may dismiss the case, or continue the case for no more than six months in order to allow the family an opportunity to meet the needs of the juvenile through more adequate home supervision, through placement in a private or specialized school or agency, through placement with a relative, or through some other plan approved by the court. (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1981, c. 469, s. 18; 1998-202, s. 6; 2003-62, s. 5.)