State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-927

§15A‑927.  Severance of offenses; objection to joinder of defendants fortrial.

(a)        Timeliness ofMotion; Waiver; Double Jeopardy.

(1)        A defendant's motionfor severance of offenses must be made before trial as provided in G.S. 15A‑952,except as provided  in G.S. 15A‑953, and except that a motion forseverance may be made before or at the close of the State's evidence if basedupon a ground not previously known. Any right to severance is waived if themotion is not made at the appropriate time.

(2)        If a defendant'spretrial motion for severance is overruled,  he may renew the motion on thesame grounds before or at the close of all the evidence. Any right to severanceis waived by failure to renew the motion.

(3)        Unless consented toby the defendant, a motion by the prosecutor for severance of offenses may begranted only prior to trial.

(4)        If a motion forseverance of offenses is granted during the trial, a motion by the defendantfor a mistrial must be granted.

(b)        Severance ofOffenses. – The court, on motion of the prosecutor or on motion of thedefendant, must grant a severance of offenses whenever:

(1)        If before trial, itis found necessary to promote a fair determination of the defendant's guilt orinnocence of each offense; or

(2)        If during trial, uponmotion of the defendant or motion of the prosecutor with the consent of thedefendant, it is found necessary to achieve a fair determination of thedefendant's  guilt or innocence of each offense. The court must considerwhether, in view of the number of offenses charged and the complexity of theevidence to be offered, the trier of fact will be able to distinguish theevidence and apply the law intelligently as to each offense.

(c)        Objection toJoinder of Charges against Multiple Defendants for Trial; Severance.

(1)        When a defendantobjects to joinder of charges against two or more defendants for trial becausean out‑of‑court statement of a codefendant makes reference to himbut is not admissible against him, the court must require the prosecutor to selectone of the following courses:

a.         A joint trial atwhich the statement is not admitted into evidence; or

b.         A joint trial atwhich the statement is admitted into evidence only after all references to themoving defendant have been effectively deleted so that the statement will notprejudice him; or

c.         A separate trial ofthe objecting defendant.

(2)        The court, on motionof the prosecutor, or on motion of the defendant other than under subdivision(1) above must deny a joinder for trial or grant a severance of defendantswhenever:

a.         If before trial, itis found necessary to protect a defendant's right to a speedy trial, or it isfound necessary to promote a fair determination of the guilt or innocence ofone or more defendants; or

b.         If during trial,upon motion of the defendant whose trial  is to be severed, or motion of theprosecutor with the consent of the defendant whose trial is to be severed, itis found necessary to achieve a fair determination of the guilt or innocence ofthat defendant.

(3)        The court may orderthe prosecutor to disclose, out of the presence of the jurors, any statementsmade by the defendants which he intends to introduce in evidence at the trialwhen that information would assist the court in ruling on an objection tojoinder of defendants for trial or a motion for severance of defendants.

(d)        Failure to ProveGrounds for Joinder of Defendants for Trial. – If a defendant moves forseverance at the conclusion of the State's case or of all the evidence, andthere is not sufficient evidence to support the allegation upon which themoving defendant was joined for trial with the other defendant or defendants,the court must grant a severance if, in view of this lack of evidence,severance is found necessary to achieve a fair determination of thatdefendant's guilt or innocence.

(e)        Severance on Motionof Court. – The court may order a severance of offenses before trial or denythe joinder of defendants for trial if a severance or denial of joinder couldbe obtained on motion of a defendant or the prosecutor. (1973,c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 166, s. 27.)