State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-1340_21

§15A‑1340.21.  Prior conviction level for misdemeanor sentencing.

(a)        Generally. – Theprior conviction level of a misdemeanor offender is determined by calculatingthe number of the offender's prior convictions that the court finds to havebeen proven in accordance with this section.

(b)        Prior ConvictionLevels for Misdemeanor Sentencing. – The prior conviction levels formisdemeanor sentencing are:

(1)        Level I – 0 priorconvictions.

(2)        Level II – At least1, but not more than 4 prior convictions.

(3)        Level III – At least5 prior convictions.

In determining the priorconviction level, a prior offense may be included if it is either a felony or amisdemeanor at the time the offense for which the offender is being sentencedis committed.

(c)        Proof of Prior Convictions.– A prior conviction shall be proved by any of the following methods:

(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,"copy" includes a paper writing containing a reproduction of a recordmaintained electronically on a computer or other data processing equipment, anda document produced by a facsimile machine. Evidence presented by either partyat trial may be utilized to prove prior convictions. Suppression of priorconvictions is pursuant to G.S. 15A‑980. If a motion is made pursuant tothat section during the sentencing stage of the criminal action, the court maygrant a continuance of the sentencing hearing.

(d)        Multiple PriorConvictions Obtained in One Court Week. – For purposes of this section, if anoffender is convicted of more than one offense in a single session of districtcourt, or in a single week of superior court or of a court in anotherjurisdiction, only one of the convictions may be used to determine the priorconviction level. (1993, c. 538, s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(b);1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 767, s. 13.1; 1997‑80, s. 8.)