302.1Structured Sentencing

Misdemeanor Sentencing
Last Updated: 11/25/20

Key Concepts

  • Misdemeanor offenses (other than driving while impaired and certain driving after consuming offenses) are sentenced according to the structured sentencing laws that were in effect at the time the offense was committed.
  • The court must determine where the defendant falls on the appropriate sentencing table (or “grid”) by finding the intersection of (i) the offense class and (ii) the defendant’s prior record level.
  • Finally, the court must select a sentence of imprisonment permitted within the applicable grid cell, choose a sentencing disposition (active, intermediate, or community punishment), and consider any other relevant sentencing issues such as fines, restitution, and credit for time served.

To review the misdemeanor sentencing tables and their effective dates, see the related entry on Sentencing: Misdemeanor Sentencing Grids.

For a complete list of misdemeanor offense classes, see the related entry on Sentencing Appendices: Misdemeanor Offense Class Table.

To calculate a misdemeanor sentence using the app developed by James Markham and Steve Winsett, see here for desktop or here for mobile.

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The PDF displayed in this entry is an excerpt from the 2018 North Carolina Sentencing Handbook, by James M. Markham and Shea Riggsbee Denning.