New Punishment Chart Available

I’m pleased to announce the availability of the School of Government’s 2018 Punishment Chart for North Carolina Crimes and Motor Vehicle Offenses.

The concept here is straightforward: this book lists the permissible punishment for all the crimes in North Carolina. That usually means simply listing the statutory offense classification for the crime, but the footnotes will tell you if there is a special sentencing rule for any particular offense. Specific local ordinances are not listed, but the general rules for their permissible punishment are described on page 3. Crimes are arranged by General Statute, which might be helpful if you are looking for related or lesser offenses as part of a plea negotiation.

The book also includes some appendix material that I hope will be useful:

  1. A list of crimes covered under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act—which is sure to change as the constitutional amendment ratified in 2018 comes into effect later this year, along with related implementing legislation.
  2. A list of crimes requiring sex offender registration.
  3. Shea’s helpful chart of Conviction-Based Driver’s License Revocations.

The inside front cover of the book includes a table of the maximum possible punishment for any type of offense.

I can’t really take a lick of credit for most of this book. The School has been preparing punishment charts for over half a century. Colleagues and former colleagues including Bob Farb, John Rubin, Shea Denning, Jim Drennan, Dona Lewandowski, Ben Loeb, and others have all had a hand in the accumulation of knowledge that makes up the current edition. Looking back at those earlier works, I noticed that as late as the fifth edition (1978), the book was published as an Institute of Government publication without noting an individual author on the front cover. That probably makes more sense for a book like this.

Speaking of those earlier editions, people often ask us how an offense was punished at some particular point in history. That information can be useful for prosecuting or resentencing an old case, or for other purposes like evaluating an expunction petition or handgun permit application. With that in mind, we scanned all the old editions—back to 1967—and posted them here. (Thank you to our librarians for doing that.)

The 2018 book is available for purchase through the School of Government website here.

North Carolina Judicial Branch employees may procure copies through the AOC’s online store. Contact the Purchasing Services Division ( with questions. The AOC requests prior approval from division managers before ordering through the online store.





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