Midyear Review of Criminal Law Legislation

The North Carolina General Assembly has been hard at work this legislative session, having already passed several bills affecting criminal law and procedure. There are a handful of laws that have already taken effect. As is typically the case, most of the other laws have an effective date of December 1 to allow the courts to prepare for the changes. This post provides a brief summary of the criminal law and related legislation enacted thus far during this legislative session.

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BIG NEWS: S.L. 2019-245 Creates a New Universal Mandated Reporting Law for Child Victims of Crimes and Changes the Definition of “Caretaker”

[Editor’s note: Because the information in this post cuts across multiple subject areas, the post will appear on several School of Government blogs.]

An Act to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and to Strengthen and Modernize Sexual Assault Laws, S.L. 2019-245 (S199) enacts and amends various laws related to crimes;* amends some civil and criminal statutes of limitations; requires mandatory training for school personnel addressing child sex abuse and trafficking; amends the definition of “caretaker” as it relates to child abuse, neglect, or dependency; and creates a new universal mandatory reporting law for child victims of certain crimes.

This post discusses

  • the amendment to the definition of caretaker and
  • the new mandatory reporting law, which requires any adult to make a report to law enforcement when a juvenile is a victim of certain crimes.

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How the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Change Judicial Appointments

This November, North Carolina voters will be asked to vote for or against a “Constitutional amendment to implement a nonpartisan merit-based system that relies on professional qualifications instead of political influence when nominating Justices and judges to be selected to fill vacancies that occur between judicial elections.” If voters approve the amendment, what will change about the way judges are selected in North Carolina?

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Important Amendments to the “Revenge Porn” Statute

The General Assembly has amended G.S. 14-190.5A, the “revenge porn” statute. The statute now (1) applies to live streams as well as recordings, and (2) is not limited to images captured in the course of a “personal relationship.” However, it still leaves open questions about various types of digitally-generated images.

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Must Officers Now Arrest, Rather Than Cite, for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession?

This session, the General Assembly made some changes to the statute governing the fingerprinting of criminal defendants. Inside and outside the School of Government, people are divided about whether the statute now requires officers to arrest, rather than cite, individuals for misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses.

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General Assembly Closes Up Shop, Gives Us “Technical” Corrections

The General Assembly reached an agreement on coal ash and has adjourned for the session. Shortly before departing, it approved a technical corrections bill that has become law. The bill contains several criminal law provisions, some of which arguably are not “technical.” But let’s not get technical about what’s technical! Bob Farb sent a summary … Read more

Short Preview of the Short Session

Shea noted yesterday that the General Assembly has begun its 2014 session, and she summarized one of the bills that the legislature may take up. This post notes several other significant bills under consideration. Background. In even-numbered years, the legislature has a “short session” during which only certain matters may be considered. The most important … Read more

Gun Bill Poised to Become Law

The General Assembly has passed H 937, which awaits the Governor’s signature. It is an omnibus gun bill, following rather closely on the heels of the omnibus firearms bill enacted in 2011, which I covered in part here. Assuming that it becomes law – and I am not aware of any prospect of a veto … Read more