State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-922

§15A‑922.  Use of pleadings in misdemeanor cases generally.

(a)        Process asPleadings. – The citation, criminal summons, warrant for arrest, ormagistrate's order serves as the pleading of the State for a misdemeanorprosecuted in the district court, unless the prosecutor files a statement ofcharges, or there is objection to trial on a citation. When a statement ofcharges is filed it supersedes all previous pleadings of the State andconstitutes the pleading of the State.

(b)        Statement ofCharges.

(1)        A statement ofcharges is a criminal pleading which charges a misdemeanor. It must be signedby the prosecutor who files it.

(2)        Upon appropriatemotion, a defendant is entitled to a period  of at least three working days forthe preparation of his defense after a statement of charges is filed, or thetime the defendant is first notified of the statement of charges,  whichever islater, unless the judge finds that the statement of charges makes no materialchange in the pleadings and that no additional time is necessary.

(3)        If the judge rulesthat the pleadings charging a misdemeanor are insufficient and a prosecutor ispermitted to file a statement of charges pursuant to subsection (e), the orderof the judge must allow the prosecutor three working days, unless the judgedetermines that a longer period is justified, in which to file the statement ofcharges, and must provide that the charges will be dismissed if the statementof charges is not filed within the period allowed.

(c)        Objection to Trialon Citation. – A defendant charged in a citation with a criminal offense may byappropriate motion require that the offense be charged in a new pleading. Theprosecutor must then file a statement of charges unless it appears that acriminal summons or a warrant for arrest should be secured in order to insurethe attendance of the defendant, and in addition serve as the new pleading.

(d)        Statement ofCharges upon Determination of Prosecutor. –The prosecutor may file a statementof charges upon his own determination at any time prior to arraignment in thedistrict court. It may charge the same offenses as the citation, criminalsummons, warrant for arrest, or magistrate's order or additional or differentoffenses.

(e)        Objection toSufficiency of Criminal Summons; Warrant for Arrest or Magistrate's Order asPleading. – If the defendant by appropriate motion objects to the sufficiencyof a criminal summons, warrant for arrest, or magistrate's order as a pleading,at the time of or after arraignment in the district court or upon trial de novoin the superior court, and the judge rules that the pleading is insufficient,the prosecutor may file a statement of charges, but a statement of chargesfiled pursuant to this authorization may not change the nature of the offense.

(f)         Amendment ofPleadings prior to or after Final Judgment. – A statement of charges, criminalsummons, warrant for arrest, citation, or magistrate's order may be amended atany time prior to or after final judgment when the amendment does not changethe nature of the offense charged.

(g)        Pleadings WhenMisdemeanor Prosecution Initiated in Superior Court. – When the prosecution ofa misdemeanor is initiated in the superior court as permitted by G.S. 7A‑271,the prosecution must be upon information or indictment.

(h)        Allegations inSuperior Court of Prior Convictions. – When charges in the district courtinvolve allegations of prior convictions and there is an appeal to the superiorcourt for trial de novo, a statement of charges must be filed in the superiorcourt to charge the offense in the manner provided in G.S. 15A‑928. (1973,c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 166, s. 27; 1979, c. 770; 1985, c. 689, s. 6.)