State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-601


Article 29.

First Appearance BeforeDistrict Court Judge.

§ 15A‑601.  Firstappearance before a district court judge; right in felony and other cases inoriginal jurisdiction of superior court; consolidation of first appearancebefore magistrate and before district court judge; first appearance beforeclerk of superior court; use of two‑way audio and video transmission.

(a)        Any defendantcharged in a magistrate's order under G.S. 15A‑511 or criminal processunder Article 17 of this Chapter, Criminal Process, with a crime in theoriginal jurisdiction of the superior court must be brought before a districtcourt judge in the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A‑133 inwhich the crime is charged to have been committed. This first appearance beforea district court judge is not a critical stage of the proceedings against thedefendant.

(a1)      A first appearancein a noncapital case may be conducted by an audio and video transmissionbetween the judge and the defendant in which the parties can see and hear eachother. If the defendant has counsel, the defendant shall be allowed tocommunicate fully and confidentially with his attorney during the proceeding.

(a2)      Prior to the use ofaudio and video transmission pursuant to subsection (a1) of this section, theprocedures and type of equipment for audio and video transmission shall besubmitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts by the senior regularresident superior court judge for a judicial district or set of districts andapproved by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(b)        When a districtcourt judge conducts an initial appearance as provided in G.S. 15A‑511,he may consolidate those proceedings and the proceedings under this Article.

(c)        Unless the defendantis released pursuant to Article 26 of this Chapter, Bail, first appearancebefore a district court judge must be held within 96 hours after the defendantis taken into custody or at the first regular session of the district court inthe county, whichever occurs first. If the defendant is not taken into custody,or is released pursuant to Article 26 of this Chapter, Bail, within 96 hoursafter being taken into custody, first appearance must be held at the nextsession of district court held in the county. This subsection does not apply toa defendant whose first appearance before a district court judge has been setin a criminal summons pursuant to G.S. 15A‑303(d).

(d)        Upon motion of thedefendant, the first appearance before a district court judge may be continuedto a time certain. The defendant may not waive the holding of the firstappearance before a district court judge but he need not appear personally ifhe is represented by counsel at the proceeding.

(e)        The clerk of thesuperior court in the county in which the defendant is taken into custody mayconduct a first appearance as provided in this Article if a district courtjudge is not available in the county within 96 hours after the defendant istaken into custody.  The clerk, in conducting a first appearance, shall proceedunder this Article as would a district court judge. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1975,2nd Sess., c. 983, ss. 139, 140; 1979, c. 651; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c.1037, s. 58; 1993, c. 30, s. 2.)