State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-924

§ 15A‑924.  Contents ofpleadings; duplicity; alleging and proving previous convictions; failure tocharge crime; surplusage.

(a)        A criminal pleadingmust contain:

(1)        The name or otheridentification of the defendant but the name of the defendant need not berepeated in each count unless required for clarity.

(2)        A separate countaddressed to each offense charged, but allegations in one count may beincorporated by reference in another count.

(3)        A statement or crossreference in each count indicating that the offense charged therein wascommitted in a designated county.

(4)        A statement or crossreference in each count indicating that the offense charged was committed on,or on or about, a designated date, or during a designated period of time. Erroras to a date or its omission is not ground for dismissal of the charges or forreversal of a conviction if time was not of the essence with respect to thecharge and the error or omission did not mislead the defendant to hisprejudice.

(5)        A plain and concisefactual statement in each count which, without allegations of an evidentiarynature, asserts facts supporting every element of a criminal offense and thedefendant's commission thereof with sufficient precision clearly to apprise thedefendant or defendants of the conduct which is the subject of the accusation.When the pleading is a criminal summons, warrant for arrest, or magistrate'sorder, or statement of charges based thereon, both the statement of the crimeand any information showing probable cause which was considered by the judicialofficial and which has been furnished to the defendant must be used indetermining whether the pleading is sufficient to meet the foregoingrequirement.

(6)        For each count acitation of any applicable statute, rule, regulation, ordinance, or otherprovision of law alleged therein to have been violated. Error in the citationor its omission is not ground for dismissal of the charges or for reversal of aconviction.

(7)        A statement that theState intends to use one or more aggravating factors under G.S. 15A‑1340.16(d)(20),with a plain and concise factual statement indicating the factor or factors itintends to use under the authority of that subdivision.

(b)        If any count of anindictment or information charges more than one offense, the defendant may bytimely filing of a motion require the State to elect and state a single offensealleged in the count upon which the State will proceed to trial. A count may bedismissed for duplicity if the State fails to make timely election.

(c)        In trials insuperior court, allegations of previous convictions are subject to theprovisions of G.S. 15A‑928.

(d)        In alleging andproving a prior conviction, it is sufficient to state that the defendant was ata certain time and place convicted of the previous offense, without otherwisefully alleging all the elements. A duly certified transcript of the record of aprior conviction is, upon proof of the identity of the person of the defendant,sufficient evidence of a prior conviction. If the surname of a defendantcharged is identical to the surname of a defendant previously convicted andthere is identity with respect to one given name, or two initials, or twoinitials corresponding with the first letters of given names, between the twodefendants, and there is no evidence that would indicate the two defendants arenot one and the same, the identity of name is prima facie evidence that the twodefendants are the same person.

(e)        Upon motion of adefendant under G.S. 15A‑952(b) the court must dismiss the chargescontained in a pleading which fails to charge the defendant with a crime in themanner required by subsection (a), unless the failure is with regard to amatter as to which an amendment is allowable.

(f)         Upon motion of adefendant under G.S. 15A‑952(b) the court may strike inflammatory orprejudicial surplusage from the pleading. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 642, s. 2; 1989, c.290, s. 3; 2005‑145, s. 3.)