Bill Summaries: S455 (2021)

  • Summary date: Apr 28 2021 - View summary

    Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 1st edition and replaces it with the following.

    Amends GS 153A-123 (concerning counties) and GS 160A-175 (concerning cities), making identical changes as follows. Provides that violations of county or city ordinances can only be misdemeanors or infractions if specified in the ordinance, except for eight specified types of ordinances which cannot impose a criminal penalty, including ordinances adopted pursuant to respective state laws concerning regulating and licensed businesses and trades (previously provided violations to be a misdemeanor or motor vehicle violations an infraction as specified in GS 14-4). Adds a new provision prohibiting enacting an ordinance specifying a criminal penalty at the meeting in which it is first introduced. 

    Amends GS 14-4 to provide that a person cannot be found responsible or guilty of a local ordinance violation if, when tried, the person produces proof of compliance with the local ordinance through (1) no new alleged violations of the local ordinance within 30 days from the date of the initial alleged violation, or (2) proof of a good-faith effort to seek assistance to address any underlying factors related to unemployment, homelessness, mental health, or substance abuse that might relate to the person's ability to comply with the local ordinance.

    Effective December 1, 2021, and applies to offenses and violations committed on or after that date. Makes conforming changes to the act's titles. 

  • Summary date: Apr 1 2021 - View summary

    Revises GS 14-4, making it an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $50 to violate a local ordinance or ordinance of a metropolitan sewerage district (currently a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to $500, or $50 if the ordinance does not specify a greater fine, except violations of ordinances regulating the operation or parking of vehicles are an infraction punishable by fine of up to $50). Adds that the statute does not restrict local authority or the authority of a metropolitan sewerage district from imposing stricter civil penalties for violation of any ordinance pursuant to their respective authority under GS 153A-123, GS 160A-175, or GS 162A-81. Makes conforming changes. Applies to violations on or after December 1, 2021.

    Enacts GS 14-4.2 to bar criminal convictions unless the offense is a common-law offense or appears in the following GS Chapters: 14 (Criminal Law), 20 (Motor Vehicles), or Article 5 of GS Chapter 90 (Controlled Substances Act). Excludes persons who have actual knowledge that the behavior constitutes a crime. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021. 

    Provides a savings clause for prosecutions for offenses committed before December 1, 2021.

    Effective December 1, 2021.