State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-1340_13

Part 2. Felony Sentencing.

§ 15A‑1340.13. Procedure and incidents of sentence of imprisonment for felonies.

(a)        Application toFelonies Only. – This Part applies to sentences imposed for felony convictions.

(b)        ProcedureGenerally; Requirements of Judgment; Kinds of Sentences. – Before imposing asentence, the court shall determine the prior record level for the offenderpursuant to G.S. 15A‑1340.14. The sentence shall contain a sentencedisposition specified for the class of offense and prior record level, and itsminimum term of imprisonment shall be within the range specified for the classof offense and prior record level, unless applicable statutes require orauthorize another minimum sentence of imprisonment. The kinds of sentencedispositions are active punishment, intermediate punishment, and communitypunishment.

(c)        Minimum and MaximumTerm. – The judgment of the court shall contain a minimum term of imprisonmentthat is consistent with the class of offense for which the sentence is beingimposed and with the prior record level for the offender. The maximum term ofimprisonment applicable to each minimum term of imprisonment is, unlessotherwise provided, as specified in G.S. 15A‑1340.17. The maximum termshall be specified in the judgment of the court.

(d)        Service of MinimumRequired; Earned Time Authorization. – An offender sentenced to an activepunishment shall serve the minimum term imposed. The maximum term may bereduced to, but not below, the minimum term by earned time credits awarded toan offender by the Department of Correction or the custodian of the localconfinement facility, pursuant to rules adopted in accordance with law.

(e)        Deviation fromSentence Ranges for Aggravation and Mitigation; No Sentence DispositionalDeviation Allowed. – The court may deviate from the presumptive range ofminimum sentences of imprisonment specified for a class of offense and priorrecord level if it finds, pursuant to G.S. 15A‑1340.16, that aggravatingor mitigating circumstances support such a deviation. The amount of thedeviation is in the court's discretion, subject to the limits specified in theclass of offense and prior record level for mitigated and aggravatedpunishment. Deviations for aggravated or mitigated punishment are allowed onlyin the ranges of minimum and maximum sentences of imprisonment, and not in thesentence dispositions specified for the class of offense and prior recordlevel, unless a statute specifically authorizes a sentence dispositionaldeviation.

(f)         Suspension ofSentence. – Unless otherwise provided, the court shall not suspend the sentenceof imprisonment if the class of offense and prior record level do not permitcommunity or intermediate punishment as a sentence disposition. The court shallsuspend the sentence of imprisonment if the class of offense and prior recordlevel require community or intermediate punishment as a sentence disposition.The court may suspend the sentence of imprisonment if the class of offense andprior record level authorize, but do not require, active punishment as asentence disposition.

(g)        DispositionalDeviation for Extraordinary Mitigation. – Except as provided in subsection (h)of this section, the court may impose an intermediate punishment for a class ofoffense and prior record level that requires the imposition of an activepunishment if it finds in writing all of the following:

(1)        That extraordinarymitigating factors of a kind significantly greater than in the normal case arepresent.

(2)        Those factorssubstantially outweigh any factors in aggravation.

(3)        It would be amanifest injustice to impose an active punishment in the case.

The court shall consider evidenceof extraordinary mitigating factors, but the decision to find any such factors,or to impose an intermediate punishment is in the discretion of the court. Theextraordinary mitigating factors which the court finds shall be specified inits judgment.

(h)        Exceptions WhenExtraordinary Mitigation Shall Not Be Used. – The court shall not impose anintermediate sanction pursuant to subsection (g) of this section if:

(1)        The offense is aClass A or Class B1 felony;

(2)        The offense is adrug trafficking offense under G.S. 90‑95(h) or a drug traffickingconspiracy offense under G.S. 90‑95(i); or

(3)        The defendant hasfive or more points as determined by G.S. 15A‑1340.14. (1993,c. 538, s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, ss. 18, 18.1, 19; c. 22, s. 9; c. 24, s.14(b); 1995, c. 375, s. 1.)