State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-803

§ 15A‑803.  Attendanceof witnesses.

(a)        Material WitnessOrder Authorized. – A judge may issue an order assuring the attendance of amaterial witness at a criminal proceeding. This material witness order may beissued when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person whom theState or a defendant desires to call as a witness in a pending criminalproceeding possesses information material to the determination of theproceeding and may not be amenable or responsive to a subpoena at a time when hisattendance will be sought.

(b)        When Order Issued.– A material witness order may be issued by a judge of superior court at anytime after the initiation of criminal proceedings. A judge of district courtmay issue a material witness order only at the time that a defendant is boundover to superior court at a probable‑cause hearing.

(c)        How Long Effective.– A material witness order remains in effect during the period indicated in theorder by the issuing judge unless it is sooner modified or vacated by a judgeof superior court. In no event may a material witness order which provides forincarceration of the material witness be issued for a period longer than 20days, but upon review a superior court judge in his discretion may renew anorder one or more times for periods not to exceed five days each.

(d)        Procedure. – Amaterial witness order may be obtained upon motion supported by affidavitshowing cause for its issuance. The witness must be given reasonable notice,opportunity to be heard and present evidence, and the right of representationby counsel at a hearing on the motion. Counsel for a material witness may beappointed and compensated in the same manner as counsel for an indigentdefendant. Appointment of counsel shall be in accordance with rules adopted bythe Office of Indigent Defense Services. The order must be based on findings offact supporting its issuance.

(e)        Order. – If thecourt makes a material witness order:

(1)        It may directrelease of the witness in the same manner that a defendant may be releasedunder G.S. 15A‑534.

(2)        It may direct thedetention of the witness.

(f)         Modification orVacation. – A material witness order may be modified or vacated by a judge ofsuperior court upon a showing of new or changed facts or circumstances by thewitness, the State, or any defendant.

(g)        Securing Attendanceor Custody of Material Witness. – The witness may be required to attend thehearing by subpoena, or if the court considers it necessary, by order forarrest. An order for arrest also may be issued if it becomes necessary to takethe witness into custody after issuance of a material witness order. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 2000‑144,s. 29.)