A misdemeanor is any minor crime that typically is punished by less than a year in county jail and/or a fine. Any crime that is more serious than a misdemeanor is typically classified as a felony. A conviction for a felony crime can result in prison time, a substantial fine, and even the death penalty. Most states have made sentencing for felonies more straightforward by categorizing felonies into different classes based on the seriousness of the felony, and assigned specific punishments to each class.
Yes. North Carolina has separated its felony crimes into 10 classes:
Class A is reserved for the most serious crimes such as first-degree murder. Crimes in Class I are the least serious felony crimes in North Carolina, such as breaking or entering a car and obtaining a controlled substance via fraud.
Yes. A person’s exact sentencing is determined by many factors, including prior criminal record. Except for Class A felonies that have life in prison or death, a person can receive a lighter sentence without a prior record according to the point system. In North Carolina, prior convictions are used in determining a person’s sentence through a Prior Record Level system.
The Prior Record Level system involves a person accumulating points for any conviction against them that are then used to determine if the person should be subjected to a harsher punishment. The points are broken down into six levels:
Different classes of felonies are worth different amounts of points:
All of the points from the different convictions that the defendant has acquired in the past are added together to determine what level applies to their conviction.
While additional convictions will increase the punishment that a person may face for their felony conviction, the punishment for a person’s first felony conviction is:
A sentence may also be more or less than what is listed if aggravating or mitigating factors are present that would justify increasing or decreasing the length of the sentence. An intermediate punishment involves supervised probation and may also include:
A community punishment generally consists of a fine or supervised or unsupervised probation, and could also include:
If you are facing a felony charge, you will definitely need legal representation. Contact a North Carolina lawyer immediately for help with your felony case.
Last Modified: 12-19-2016 08:38 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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