Felony Categories in North Carolina

Crimes in North Carolina are generally divided into two classes: misdemeanors and felonies. Felony crimes are divided up to ten different categories, all with a broad range of seriousness in the offense.

For instance, a Class I felony is the least serious type of felony. It only carries a maximum penalty of 24 months in jail. Meanwhile, a Class A felony, the most severe of the categories, carries a maximum penalty of either life imprisonment or even death. The final outcome in any felony case will depend on the individual facts of the case, a person’s criminal record, and any agreements the defendant enters into within the district attorney’s office.

These “classes” can be divided into three categories:

Low level felonies are some felonies that may not carry mandatory jail time. There are many property-related crimes such as felony larceny, embezzlement and obtaining property via false pretenses can be considered low-level Class H or Class I felonies. These crimes may only have the offender have a certain probation. Some drug offenses, such as possession or small sales of controlled substances, are also considered low-level felonies.

Probationary sentences often have special conditions, such as house arrest, jail weekends, and even community service.

Meanwhile, Mid-level felonies also carry the possibility of intensive probation. However, these only depend on the defendant’s criminal record. Mid-level Class E, Class F or Class G felonies include violent assaults, involuntary manslaughter, common-law robbery, impaired driving and even some sexual assaults.

However, some convictions do have lengthy prison sentence, and drug trafficking crimes may carry a mandatory minimum jail time.

The last level, High-level felonies, are the most severe kinds of felonies and are reserved for Class A, Class B1 or B2, Class C and Class D felonies. These include crimes such as arson, burglary, armed robbery, voluntary manslaughter and murder.

A lot of the highest level felonies include sexual violence, such as statutory or forcible rape. Some drug trafficking felonies often are considered high-level felonies as well. They may carry very high mandatory minimum sentences. Others may even have life imprisonment or death via lethal injection as an option.

Those who would like to know more about the specifics of crimes in North Carolina may contact lawyers and legal experts from nearby courts for consultations.