State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-1340_14

§ 15A‑1340.14.  Priorrecord level for felony sentencing.

(a)        Generally. – Theprior record level of a felony offender is determined by calculating the sum ofthe points assigned to each of the offender's prior convictions that the court,or with respect to subdivision (b)(7) of this section, the jury, finds to havebeen proved in accordance with this section.

(b)        Points. – Pointsare assigned as follows:

(1)        For each priorfelony Class A conviction, 10 points.

(1a)      For each prior felonyClass B1 conviction, 9 points.

(2)        For each priorfelony Class B2, C, or D conviction, 6 points.

(3)        For each priorfelony Class E, F, or G conviction, 4 points.

(4)        For each priorfelony Class H or I conviction, 2 points.

(5)        For each priormisdemeanor conviction as defined in this subsection, 1 point. For purposes ofthis subsection, misdemeanor is defined as any Class A1 and Class 1 nontrafficmisdemeanor offense, impaired driving (G.S. 20‑138.1), impaired drivingin a commercial vehicle (G.S. 20‑138.2), and misdemeanor death by vehicle(G.S. 20‑141.4(a2)), but not any other misdemeanor traffic offense underChapter 20 of the General Statutes.

(6)        If all the elementsof the present offense are included in any prior offense for which the offenderwas convicted, whether or not the prior offense or offenses were used indetermining prior record level, 1 point.

(7)        If the offense wascommitted while the offender was on supervised or unsupervised probation,parole, or post‑release supervision, or while the offender was serving a sentenceof imprisonment, or while the offender was on escape from a correctionalinstitution while serving a sentence of imprisonment, 1 point.

For purposes of determiningprior record points under this subsection, a conviction for a first degree rapeor a first degree sexual offense committed prior to the effective date of thissubsection shall be treated as a felony Class B1 conviction, and a convictionfor any other felony Class B offense committed prior to the effective date ofthis subsection shall be treated as a felony Class B2 conviction. G.S. 15A‑1340.16(a5)specifies the procedure to be used to determine if a point exists undersubdivision (7) of this subsection. The State must provide a defendant withwritten notice of its intent to prove the existence of the prior record pointunder subdivision (7) of this subsection as required by G.S. 15A‑1340.16(a6).

(c)        Prior Record Levelsfor Felony Sentencing. – The prior record levels for felony sentencing are:

(1)        Level I – Not morethan 1 point.

(2)        Level II – At least2, but not more than 5 points.

(3)        Level III – At least6, but not more than 9 points.

(4)        Level IV – At least10, but not more than 13 points.

(5)        Level V – At least14, but not more than 17 points.

(6)        Level VI – At least18 points.

In determining the prior recordlevel, the classification of a prior offense is the classification assigned tothat offense at the time the offense for which the offender is being sentencedis committed.

(d)        Multiple PriorConvictions Obtained in One Court Week. – For purposes of determining the priorrecord level, if an offender is convicted of more than one offense in a singlesuperior court during one calendar week, only the conviction for the offensewith the highest point total is used. If an offender is convicted of more thanone offense in a single session of district court, only one of the convictionsis used.

(e)        Classification ofPrior Convictions From Other Jurisdictions. – Except as otherwise provided inthis subsection, a conviction occurring in a jurisdiction other than NorthCarolina is classified as a Class I felony if the jurisdiction in which theoffense occurred classifies the offense as a felony, or is classified as aClass 3 misdemeanor if the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred classifiesthe offense as a misdemeanor. If the offender proves by the preponderance ofthe evidence that an offense classified as a felony in the other jurisdictionis substantially similar to an offense that is a misdemeanor in North Carolina,the conviction is treated as that class of misdemeanor for assigning priorrecord level points. If the State proves by the preponderance of the evidencethat an offense classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony in the otherjurisdiction is substantially similar to an offense in North Carolina that isclassified as a Class I felony or higher, the conviction is treated as thatclass of felony for assigning prior record level points. If the State proves bythe preponderance of the evidence that an offense classified as a misdemeanorin the other jurisdiction is substantially similar to an offense classified asa Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina, the conviction is treatedas a Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanor for assigning prior record level points.

(f)         Proof of PriorConvictions. – A prior conviction shall be proved by any of the followingmethods:

(1)        Stipulation of theparties.

(2)        An original or copyof the court record of the prior conviction.

(3)        A copy of recordsmaintained by the Division of Criminal Information, the Division of MotorVehicles, or of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(4)        Any other methodfound by the court to be reliable.

The State bears the burden ofproving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a prior conviction exists andthat the offender before the court is the same person as the offender named inthe prior conviction. The original or a copy of the court records or a copy ofthe records maintained by the Division of Criminal Information, the Division ofMotor Vehicles, or of the Administrative Office of the Courts, bearing the samename as that by which the offender is charged, is prima facie evidence that theoffender named is the same person as the offender before the court, and thatthe facts set out in the record are true. For purposes of this subsection,"a copy" includes a paper writing containing a reproduction of arecord maintained electronically on a computer or other data processingequipment, and a document produced by a facsimile machine. The prosecutor shallmake all feasible efforts to obtain and present to the court the offender'sfull record. Evidence presented by either party at trial may be utilized toprove prior convictions. Suppression of prior convictions is pursuant to G.S.15A‑980. If a motion is made pursuant to that section during thesentencing stage of the criminal action, the court may grant a continuance ofthe sentencing hearing. If asked by the defendant in compliance with G.S. 15A‑903,the prosecutor shall furnish the defendant's prior criminal record to thedefendant within a reasonable time sufficient to allow the defendant todetermine if the record available to the prosecutor is accurate. Upon requestof a sentencing services program established pursuant to Article 61 of Chapter7A of the General Statutes, the district attorney shall provide any informationthe district attorney has about the criminal record of a person for whom theprogram has been requested to provide a sentencing plan pursuant to G.S. 7A‑773.1. (1993, c. 538,s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 22, s. 10; c. 24, s. 14(b); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994),c. 767, ss. 11‑13; 1995, c. 507, s. 19.5(f); 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c.742, s. 15; 1997‑80, s. 7; 1997‑486, s. 1; 1999‑306, s. 3;1999‑408, s. 3; 2005‑145, s. 2; 2009‑555, s. 1.)