AN ACT TO INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR RIOTING OR INCITING RIOTING THAT CAUSES DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, SERIOUS BODILY INJURY, OR DEATH AND ASSAULTING EMERGENCY PERSONNEL DURING A RIOT OR STATE OF EMERGENCY; TO ALLOW RECOVERY OF TREBLE DAMAGES FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE OR PERSONAL INJURY CAUSED BY RIOTING OR LOOTING; AND TO REQUIRE PRETRIAL RELEASE CONDITIONS FOR RIOTING AND LOOTING OFFENSES TO BE DETERMINED BY A JUDGE AND TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO DEVELOP MODEL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY PROTEST RESPONSE AND ENGAGEMENT POLICIES. SL 2023-6. Enacted March 21, 2023. Effective December 1, 2023.
Bill Summaries: H40 (2023-2024 Session)
Summary date: Mar 21 2023 - View summary
Summary date: Feb 8 2023 - View summary
House amendments to the 1st edition make the following changes.
Amendment #1 makes the following changes. Amends proposed GS 14-288.2(c1) by making it a Class F felony for a person to willfully engage in a riot if in the course of the riot the person causes property damage in excess of $2,500 (was, $1,500) or serious bodily injury. Makes a similar change to (e) of the statute to also increase the amount of property damage caused by a person willfully inciting or urging another to engage in a riot, punishable as a Class E felony, to in excess of $2,5000 (was, in excess of $1,500). Amends proposed GS 15A-534.8, concerning bail and pretrial release for rioting or looting, to lower the amount of time a defendant may be retained in custody to no more than 24 hours (was, no more than 48 hours) from the time of arrest without a determination being made by a judge as to the conditions of pretrial release. Makes conforming changes.
Amendment #2 makes the following changes to GS 14-288.9, concerning assault on emergency personnel. Creates a Class E felony for committing an assault upon emergency personnel causing serious bodily injury to the emergency personnel. Creates a Class D felony for committing an assault upon emergency personnel causing death to the emergency personnel. Makes organizational changes to the statute.
Amendment #4 requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consult with the Department of Public Safety, the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission, in developing model law enforcement agency protest response and engagement policies. Requires DOJ to report on the policies to the specified NCGA committee by March 1, 2024. Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.
Amendment #8 adds that nothing in this act is to be construed as intended to prevent or prohibit an individual's right to his or her exercise of free speech or the right to peaceable assembly.
Summary date: Feb 1 2023 - View summary
Amends GS 14-288.2, setting out punishments for rioting or inciting rioting, as follows. Makes it a Class H felony for any person to brandish any dangerous weapon or use a dangerous substance in the course of a riot (was, limited to possessing a dangerous weapon or causing property damage over $1,500). Now makes it a Class F felony to willfully engage in a riot where in the course of the riot, the person causes property damage of more than $1,500 or serious bodily injury. Establishes a Class E felony to willfully engage in a riot where in the course of the riot, the person causes a death. Increases the punishment from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class A1 misdemeanor for willfully inciting or urging another to engage in a riot, so that as a result of such inciting or urging a riot occurs or a clear and present danger of a riot is created. Increases from a Class F felony to a Class E felony willfully inciting or urging another to engage in a riot, when such inciting or urging is a contributing cause of a riot in which there is property damage in excess of $1,500 or serious bodily injury. Adds a Class D felony for willfully inciting or urging another to engage in a riot when that incitement or urging causes a death. Adds that any person whose person or property is injured by reason of a violation of the statute may sue for and recover from the violator three times the actual damages sustained, as well as court costs and attorneys' fees. States that mere presence alone without an overt act is not enough to sustain a conviction.
Amends GS 14-288.6 (prohibiting looting; trespass during emergency) by adding that any person whose person or property is injured by reason of a violation of the statute may sue for and recover from the violator three times the actual damages sustained, as well as court costs and attorneys' fees.
Amends GS 14-288.9, prohibiting assault on emergency personnel, by making the following changes. Expands the definition of emergency personnel to also include members of the NC National Guard, and provides that it also includes persons discharging or attempting to discharge his or her official duties during an emergency (not just those engaged in providing essential services during the emergency). Makes the assault a felony whether or not physical injury is caused and increases the punishment from a Class I to a Class H felony.
Enacts new GS 15A-534.8 to require that a judge be the judicial official to determine the conditions of pretrial release in all cases in which the defendant is charged with a violation of GS 14-288.2 or GS 14-288.6. Requires the judge to direct a law enforcement officer or a district attorney to provide the defendant's criminal history report and consider the criminal history when setting conditions of release. Requires the following to apply in addition to the provisions of GS 15A-534 (procedure for determining conditions of pretrial release): (1) upon a determination by the judge that the defendant's immediate release will pose a danger of injury to persons and upon a determination that the execution of an appearance bond will not reasonably assure that such injury will not occur, a judge may retain the defendant in custody for a reasonable period of time while determining conditions of pretrial release; (2) a judge may order the defendant to stay away from specific locations or property where the offense occurred; and (3) should the defendant be mentally ill and dangerous to himself or herself or others, or a substance abuser and dangerous to himself or herself or others, the provisions of Article 5 of GS Chapter 122C (Procedure for Admission and Discharge of Clients) apply. Prohibits keeping a defendant in custody more than 48 hours from the time of arrest without a determination being made under this statute by a judge. If a judge has not acted within 48 hours of arrest, requires the magistrate to act under this statute.
Effective December 1, 2023, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.