I’m happy to announce the publication of my new bulletin, Units of Prosecution: Charging Multiple Counts for the Same Conduct. The bulletin explores a common issue that arises in various contexts: when does conduct constitute one continuing offense and when does conduct constitute more than one offense?
It has long been held that the allowable unit of prosecution for an offense is within the discretion of the legislature. North Carolina courts have resolved issues related to units of prosecution in some contexts—including kidnapping, possession of firearms, and theft crimes—while there are questions that remain unanswered in other contexts. Some answers are clearer and more direct than others. This bulletin reviews case law on permissible units of prosecution for certain offenses against the person, possession offenses, and theft offenses. It also provides some insight as to how courts have resolved issues related to permissible units of prosecution, including statutory construction and the rule of lenity.
As always, I welcome comments, feedback, and questions. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.