The sentencing structure for North Carolina’s felonies are very similar to how misdemeanors are classified. Felonies are assigned a Class ranging from A to I, from most severe to least severe. This will then be compared to the prior criminal record of the individual, in order to determine his or her sentence level, from 1 through 7.
All felonies in North Carolina have the potential of lasting for more than a year. However, there are felonies that may allow a defendant with little or no criminal record and an expert criminal lawyer to avoid jail time of that length.
Interestingly, there are certain felony convictions that can result in no jail time at all, but this again depends on the defendant’s prior criminal record.
Meanwhile, there are actually three types of sentences for felonies in North Carolina. These are the following:
Community Punishment has the defendant assigned some form of community service. He or she is also required to pay restitution whenever appropriate, and may undergo supervised or unsupervised probation. Probation is given when a defendant is actually sentenced to an active jail sentence, which is suspended during the probation period. If they violate this probation, they risk an actual sentence.
Supervised probation has the defendant assigned a probation officer they meet daily. There are even certain limitations that must be met. Meanwhile, unsupervised probation is a period where the defendant must not get in any legal trouble lest they “active” the suspended jail sentence. This means not doing the assigned community service, not paying restitution, or receiving a new charge can be filed as violation of probation.
An Intermediate Sentence is where the defendant is given both a period of time on probation, and an amount of active jail time. This is also commonly known as a “split” sentence.
Active Sentence is where the defendant must stay in jail for a specified time.