North Carolina Criminal Laws – All You Need to Know

In North Carolina, criminal law is constantly changing on the state and local levels, and it’s important to stay up to date on these rules and regulations that impact people in the state and how they live. These laws are kept in place to keep individuals safe and ensure that society is just and adhering to order. In January 2024, many new state laws went into effect, including a law that targets the sale of stolen goods on websites such as Facebook and Amazon.

Additionally, thefts on a huge level are being penalized to a greater degree. This means that marketplaces selling goods from a seller must require that the user share their personal information. In the case that any shared information is false or a seller refuses to share information, the marketplace will need to temporarily be shut down.

An Overview: Criminal Offenses in North Carolina

In order to understand how criminal law is organized in North Carolina, it’s important to have an understanding of the main categories of criminal activity. Crimes in North Carolina are categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies, with a felony resulting in more serious penalties and broader implications for the accused’s personal rights and freedoms. 

  • Assault and battery. North Carolina breaks down assault and battery into different categories based on the severity of the crime. For example, if assault is committed with a weapon or firearm, then it will be charged as a felony.
  • Crimes associated with drugs. Drug possession, or unlawfully having a controlled substance, is the most minor drug crime in North Carolina. Carrying over a certain amount of a drug can increase the severity of the crime in that it may indicate intent to sell. Trafficking drugs and manufacturing drugs are more serious crimes that can be charged as felonies. The severity of a drug crime can vary based on intent, drug classification, amount of the drug, and other factors.
  • Property crimes and theft. Many crimes fall under property crimes in North Carolina, including burglary and robbery. Robbery implies that force was used to take someone else’s property, and burglary means that a building or car had to be forcefully entered to take property. The extent of violence involved and the value of the property that was stolen or attempted to be stolen will impact the severity of the criminal charges.
  • DUI and DWI crimes. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is considered to be a serious crime in North Carolina. The legal BAC limit for people over the age of 21 is %0.08. The gravity of the charges depends on the number of previous offenses, whether anyone was hurt or killed in the associated accident, and whether there were any other aggravating factors.
  • Domestic violence. Laws that touch on domestic violence in North Carolina include physical, emotional, and sexual violence and abuse, as well as stalking. A victim of domestic violence can get support such as restraining orders, safe houses, witness protection, and other services.
  • Cyber crimes. Criminal laws that work to counter cyber crimes in North Carolina are relatively new compared to other categories of criminal law. While these laws are frequently being updated, they can encompass online harassment, identity theft schemes, catfishing, and illegal content distribution.

While this list provides an overview of how criminal law in North Carolina is currently organized, it is not detailed. If you are facing criminal charges and have specific questions about your case, it is highly recommended to speak with a Wilmington, NC, Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.

FAQs About North Carolina Criminal Laws

What Are North Carolina’s Sentencing Guidelines in 2024?

North Carolina has sentencing guidelines that are used to guide judges in how penalties should be administered based on the outcome of a case. Such guidelines take into account the gravity of the crime, whether the accused has committed previous crimes, and whether any particular aggravating factors took place during the crime. These sentencing guidelines are supposed to ensure that the penalties for two similar cases will be the same, resulting in fairness.

What Is the Criminal Justice Reform Law NC in 2024?

In North Carolina, a new criminal justice reform law took effect in January 2024. It requires more rigorous background checks for individuals who are applying to work in law enforcement. All applicants will now be required to have their fingerprints taken, which will be cross-referenced with biometric data from the federal system. This law is intended to keep people with a criminal history out of law enforcement.

Is North Carolina a Stand-Your-Ground State in 2024?

Yes, North Carolina is a stand-your-ground state as of 2024. Stand-your-ground laws mean that individuals are allowed to defend themselves with force in the case that they have reasonable cause to believe that their well-being is in danger. In public, this does not, however, mean that individuals can use fatal force in the situation where they fear they are in danger. In such a case, only fatal force can be used with fatal force.

What Is the New Habitual Felon Law in NC?

The new habitual felon law in North Carolina means that an individual in the state who has been convicted of or pled guilty to three felonies under state law or federal law will face more intense sentencing schemes. This means that the felony they are charged with will be classified at four levels higher than the original felony they were charged with, up to Class C.

Securing Your Rights: Find a Dedicated North Carolina Defense Lawyer

If you are currently facing criminal charges in North Carolina, you may be unsure about the potential penalties that you could be facing, what your rights are in this situation, and how you can handle this situation to optimize your case outcome. At Christina Rivenbark & Associates, our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience fighting for people like you. Contact our office today so we can discuss your case and work to build a strong defense together.

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