2019 Legislation Affecting Criminal Law and Procedure

Now that the North Carolina General Assembly has adjourned for the remainder of the year and most criminal law legislation has taken effect (which is often December 1 each year), it’s time to take stock of what passed this session. You can read summaries of all of the criminal law and related legislation here. Each summary provides a brief description of the act in question along with a link to the text of the act and, where available, links to blogs my colleagues and I wrote. As usual, the legislation spans a range of topics.

Here is a sample of the criminal laws enacted by the General Assembly this session:

  • new crimes, such as breaking and entering a pharmacy to steal a controlled substance (S.L. 2019-40), human trafficking offenses (S.L. 2019-158), and failing to report a violent or sexual offense against a juvenile (S.L. 2019-245);
  • increased punishments, such as a greater felony offense class for assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer (S.L. 2019-116) and a greater misdemeanor offense for assault on an Uber, Lyft, or other transportation network company driver (S.L. 2019-194);
  • procedures to implement the 2018 constitutional amendment on victims’ rights (S.L. 2019-216, as amended by S.L. 2019-243);
  • collateral consequences, including limits on consideration of a criminal conviction for occupational licenses (S.L. 2019-91) but also new disqualifications based on a criminal conviction (S.L. 2019-240);
  • additional funding for criminal justice needs, including testing of sexual assault kits (S.L. 2019-221) and implementation of the Raise the Age legislation (S.L. 2019-229); and
  • criminal justice studies, including one on the possibility of allowing sports betting in North Carolina (S.L. 2019-217).

The General Assembly reconvenes January 14, 2020 to take up unfinished business. In the meantime, please let me know, by comment or email, whether I missed or misstated anything so far. (Thanks already go to the ever-vigilant Office of General Counsel of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which every year clues me into legislative changes I might have otherwise missed.)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.