CRIMINAL LAW CHANGES. (NEW)

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 384 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 23, 2017
AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW REGARDING THE USE OF MOTIONS FOR APPROPRIATE RELIEF; TO CLARIFY THE DEFINITION OF "FELONY OFFENSE" FOR PURPOSES OF THE HABITUAL FELON LAW AND TO REMOVE THE SUNSET ON DRIVERS LICENSE ELIGIBILITY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF HABITUAL IMPAIRED DRIVING; TO INCLUDE BREAKING AND ENTERING WITH THE INTENT TO TERRORIZE AS A HABITUAL BREAKING AND ENTERING STATUS OFFENSE; TO CLARIFY THAT WHEN A PERSON IS CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE WHICH REQUIRES MANDATORY FINGERPRINTING, FINGERPRINTING WILL BE ORDERED BY THE COURT IF THE OFFENDER WAS NOT ARRESTED AND FINGERPRINTED AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE; AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PRIVATE CITIZEN'S SHOWING OF PROBABLE CAUSE TO THE MAGISTRATE SHALL INCLUDE SUFFICIENT INFORMATION SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION THAT A CRIME HAS OCCURRED AND SHALL ISSUE AS A SUMMONS UNLESS A SUBSTANTIAL LIKELIHOOD EXISTS THAT THE DEFENDANT WILL NOT RESPOND TO A SUMMONS; AND TO AMEND THE SHERIFF'S SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION FUND.
Intro. by Britt, Rabon, Meredith.

Status: Ch. SL 2017-176 (Senate Action) (Jul 21 2017)

SOG comments (4):

Identical bill

Identical to H 466, filed 3/23/17.

Change long and short titles

House committee substitute to 3rd edition changed long and short titles.  Long title was AN ACT RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS. Short title was THE PHARMACY PATIENT FAIR PRACTICES ACT.  

Long Title Change

House amendments to the 4th edition makes changes to the long title. The original title is as follows:

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW REGARDING THE USE OF MOTIONS FOR APPROPRIATE RELIEF; TO CLARIFY THE DEFINITION OF "FELONY OFFENSE" FOR PURPOSES OF THE HABITUAL FELON LAW AND TO REMOVE THE SUNSET ON DRIVERS LICENSE ELIGIBILITY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF HABITUAL IMPAIRED DRIVING; TO INCLUDE BREAKING AND ENTERING WITH THE INTENT TO TERRORIZE AS A HABITUAL BREAKING AND ENTERING STATUS OFFENSE; TO CLARIFY THAT WHEN A PERSON IS CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE WHICH REQUIRES MANDATORY FINGERPRINTING, FINGERPRINTING WILL BE ORDERED BY THE COURT IF THE OFFENDER WAS NOT ARRESTED AND FINGERPRINTED AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE; AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PRIVATE CITIZEN'S SHOWING OF PROBABLE CAUSE TO THE MAGISTRATE SHALL INCLUDE SUFFICIENT INFORMATION SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION THAT A CRIME HAS OCCURRED AND SHALL ISSUE AS A SUMMONS UNLESS A SUBSTANTIAL LIKELIHOOD EXISTS THAT THE DEFENDANT WILL NOT RESPOND TO A SUMMONS.

Long Title Change

Conference report to the 5th edition makes changes to the long title. The original title is as follows:

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW REGARDING THE USE OF MOTIONS FOR APPROPRIATE RELIEF; TO CLARIFY THE DEFINITION OF "FELONY OFFENSE" FOR PURPOSES OF THE HABITUAL FELON LAW AND TO REMOVE THE SUNSET ON DRIVERS LICENSE ELIGIBILITY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF HABITUAL IMPAIRED DRIVING; TO INCLUDE BREAKING AND ENTERING WITH THE INTENT TO TERRORIZE AS A HABITUAL BREAKING AND ENTERING STATUS OFFENSE; TO CLARIFY THAT WHEN A PERSON IS CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE WHICH REQUIRES MANDATORY FINGERPRINTING, FINGERPRINTING WILL BE ORDERED BY THE COURT IF THE OFFENDER WAS NOT ARRESTED AND FINGERPRINTED AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE; AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PRIVATE CITIZEN'S SHOWING OF PROBABLE CAUSE TO THE MAGISTRATE SHALL INCLUDE SUFFICIENT INFORMATION SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION THAT A CRIME HAS OCCURRED AND SHALL ISSUE AS A SUMMONS UNLESS A SUBSTANTIAL LIKELIHOOD EXISTS THAT THE DEFENDANT WILL NOT RESPOND TO A SUMMONS; AND TO PROVIDE THAT AN ENHANCED PENALTY SHALL BE IMPOSED ON ANY PERSON CONVICTED OF A VIOLENT FELONY WHO INTENTIONALLY POSTS A CLIP DEPICTING THE COMMISSION OF THE FELONY ON THE INTERNET.

Bill History:

S 384/S.L. 2017-176

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jul 25 2017 - More information

    AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW REGARDING THE USE OF MOTIONS FOR APPROPRIATE RELIEF; TO CLARIFY THE DEFINITION OF "FELONY OFFENSE" FOR PURPOSES OF THE HABITUAL FELON LAW AND TO REMOVE THE SUNSET ON DRIVERS LICENSE ELIGIBILITY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF HABITUAL IMPAIRED DRIVING; TO INCLUDE BREAKING AND ENTERING WITH THE INTENT TO TERRORIZE AS A HABITUAL BREAKING AND ENTERING STATUS OFFENSE; TO CLARIFY THAT WHEN A PERSON IS CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE WHICH REQUIRES MANDATORY FINGERPRINTING, FINGERPRINTING WILL BE ORDERED BY THE COURT IF THE OFFENDER WAS NOT ARRESTED AND FINGERPRINTED AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE; AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PRIVATE CITIZEN'S SHOWING OF PROBABLE CAUSE TO THE MAGISTRATE SHALL INCLUDE SUFFICIENT INFORMATION SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION THAT A CRIME HAS OCCURRED AND SHALL ISSUE AS A SUMMONS UNLESS A SUBSTANTIAL LIKELIHOOD EXISTS THAT THE DEFENDANT WILL NOT RESPOND TO A SUMMONS; AND TO AMEND THE SHERIFF'S SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION FUND. Enacted July 21, 2017. Effective July 21, 2017, except as otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: Jun 30 2017 - More information

    Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.

    Amends the long title.

    Deletes proposed amendments to GS 14-54 (Breaking or entering buildings generally).

    Deletes proposed GS 15A-1340.16E (Enhanced sentence if defendant is convicted of a violent felony and the defendant intentionally posts the crime on the Internet or other similar communications media).


  • Summary date: Jun 29 2017 - More information

    House amendment #7 amends amendment #4, changing the act's long title. Makes technical changes to introductory language in amendments #4 and #6. Makes technical corrections and organizational changes in amendments #4 and #6. 

    House amendment #8 amends amendment #1. Modifies the proposed language in GS 15A-304(b)(2), now providing that an official can only find probable cause based solely on information provided by a person who is not a sworn law enforcement officer if the information is provided by written affidavit, notwithstanding subsection (d). Directs that if the finding of probable cause pursuant to subsection (d) is based solely upon the written affidavit of a person who is not a sworn law enforcement officer, the issuing official is prohibited from issuing a warrant for arrest, and instead must issue a criminal summons, unless either of the three previously specified circumstances exists (amendment #1 provided for finding probable cause solely based upon testimony of a person who is not a sworn law enforcement officer, instead of here, where the sole basis is provided by written affidavit).


  • Summary date: Jun 28 2017 - More information

    House amendments make the following changes to the 4th edition.

    Amendment #1 deletes the previously proposed changes to GS 15A-304, concerning warrants for arrest. Instead, amends GS 15A-304 as follows. Eliminates existing language in subsection (b), detailing the circumstances to be considered by the judicial official in determining whether a person should be taken into custody. Enacts two new subdivisions to subsection (b):

    New subdivision (b)(1) directs the issuing official to issue a criminal summons instead of a warrant upon a finding of probable cause pursuant to existing subsection (d), unless the official finds that the accused should be taken into custody. Delineates circumstances to be considered in determining whether the accused should be taken into custody that include, but are not limited to: (1) the accused has a history of failure to appear before the court as required, or there is other evidence that the person is unlikely to appear in response to a summons for the current proceeding; (2) there is evidence that the accused is likely to escape or otherwise flee the State in order to avoid prosecution for the offense alleged; (3) there is evidence of imminent danger of harm to persons or property if the accused is not taken into custody; (4) the location of the accused is not readily discoverable, so that a criminal summons would be unlikely to be served before any court date assigned at the time of issue; (5) a relevant statute provides that arrest is mandatory for an offense charged; and (6) the seriousness of the offense, so long as the fact the offense is a felony cannot by itself constitute grounds for issuance of a warrant.

    New subsection (b)(2) directs that if the finding of probable cause pursuant to existing subsection (d) is based solely upon the testimony of a person who is not a sworn law enforcement officer, the issuing official is prohibited from issuing a warrant for arrest, and instead must issue a criminal summons, unless either: (1) there is corroborating testimony of the facts establishing probable cause from a sworn law enforcement officer or at least one disinterested witness, (2) the official finds that obtaining investigation of the alleged offense by a law enforcement agency would constitute a substantial burden for the complainant, or (3) the official finds substantial evidence of one or more grounds listed in new subdivision (b)(1).

    Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to warrants issued on or after that date.

    Amendment #2 removes the application provision for the proposed changes to GS 15A-502 (Photographs and fingerprints).

    Amendment #4 changes the act's long title and adds a new Part to the act.

    Enacts new GS 15A-1340.16E. Increases the minimum term of imprisonment for a violent felony by 24 months and increases the corresponding maximum term when it is found that the offender intentionally posted a clip depicting the commission of the violent felony on the internet. Refines violent felony as a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felony. Requires the indictment or information for the felony to allege facts that the offender posted the clip, and requires the State to prove that the offender posted the clip beyond a reasonable doubt unless the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, in which case a jury must be impaneled. Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Makes conforming organizational changes.

    Amendment #5 amends GS 14-54, establishing that if any person is in actual occupation of any part of a the building at the time a person commits the crime of breaking or entering, the person committing the crime is punished as a Class F felon. Increases the offense of breaking and entering with the intent to terrorize or injure an occupant of the building from a Class H to a Class F felony. Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Amendment #6 further amends the act's long title and adds a new Part to the act.

    Amends GS 143-166.82 (Assets), adding a new subsection directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to calculate, at the beginning of each year, the amount of additional funds needed for that year to pay the pension benefits under the Article, and bill each county for that amount on a pro-rata basis based on the most recent population estimates by the Office of State Budget and Management for each county. Requires that each county pay the amount billed no later than March 1 of that year to DOJ to be deposited into the Sheriffs' Supplemental Pension Fund (Fund). Authorizes counties to use the following to fund the Fund contributions: (1) the portion of the civil process service fee per GS 7A-311(a)(1) that is not required by statute to be used to ensure the timely service of process within the county (50% of the $30 fee), (2) other funds, or (3) both a portion of the civil process service fee and other funds.

    Amends GS 143-166.83 (Disbursements) to include the amounts pursuant to new GS 143-166.82(a1) to those assets to be disbursed by the DOJ as monthly pension payments as specified. Modifies the existing provisions in subsection (e), providing that if the Fund is insufficient to pay pension benefits owed under the Article (currently, to pay any pensions benefits) or other charges, then all benefits or payments are to be reduced pro rata for as long as the deficiency exists.

    Amends GS 143-166.85 (Benefits), changing the method for calculating the annual pension benefit for retired sheriffs that is payable in equal monthly installments. Provides for the benefit to be equal to an amount that, when added to a retirement allowance at retirement from the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System or to the amount the sheriff would have been eligible to receive if service had not been forfeited by the withdrawal of accumulated contributions, is equal to 75% of a sheriff's equivalent annual salary immediately preceding retirement computed on the latest monthly base rate, to a maximum amount that does not exceed: (1) $1,500 or (2) the sheriff's equivalent annual salary immediately preceding retirement computed on the last monthly base rate when the benefit described is added to the amount of the benefit the sheriff received under GS 143-166.42 and the amount of the sheriff's retired allowance at retirement from the Local Governmental Employee's Retirement System or the amount the sheriff would have been eligible to receive if service had not been forfeited by the withdrawal of accumulated contributions. 

    Effective January 1, 2018.

    Makes conforming organizational changes.


  • Summary date: Jun 27 2017 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Deletes all previous provisions. Changes the act's long and short titles, and now provides the following.

    Part I. Motions for Appropriate Relief

    Current law, GS 15A-1413(d), requires the senior resident superior court judge to assign a motion for appropriate relief filed in superior court for review and administrative action, which includes entry of a scheduling order for subsequent events in the case. This act specifies that entry of a scheduling order for subsequent events by the senior resident superior court judge includes disclosure of expert witness information described in GS 15A-903(a)(2) (requiring notice to the defendant by the prosecuting attorney) and GS 15A-905(c)(2) (requiring notice to the State by the defendant) for expert witnesses reasonably expected to be called at a hearing on the motion for appropriate relief.

    Amends GS 15A-1420(b1), which sets out the procedure for filing of a motion for appropriate relief. Adds a new subdivision to require the judge assigned to the motion to conduct an initial review to determine if all of the claims in the motion are frivolous. Directs the judge to deny the motion upon initial review if the judge determines that all the claims in the motion are frivolous. Provides that if the motion presents sufficient information to warrant a hearing or the interest of justice so requires, the judge must appoint counsel for an indigent defendant who is not represented by counsel. Directs counsel to review the motion filed by the petitioner and either adopt the motion or file an amended motion. Provides that after post-conviction counsel files an initial or amended motion, or a determination is made that the petitioner is proceeding without counsel, the judge can direct the State to file an answer. Allows the State to file a limited answer alleging that as a matter of law the defendant is not entitled to the relief sought.

    Makes technical changes to GS 7A-451, which specifies the actions and proceedings in which an indigent person is entitled to services of counsel under law. Further, provides that an indigent person is entitled to services of counsel in a motion for appropriate relief under GS Chapter 15A if (1) appointment of counsel is authorized by GS Chapter 15A and (2) the defendant has been convicted of a felony, the defendant has been fined $500 or more, or the defendant has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment (previously, the authorization of appointment of counsel under GS Chapter 15A was not required).

    Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to motions for appropriate relief filed on or after that date.

    Part II. Habitual Felons/Clarify Previous Convictions

    Amends GS 14-7.1, concerning the definition of a felony offense for the purpose of declaring individuals to be habitual felons, providing that a felony offense includes (1) an offense that is a felony under the laws of another state or sovereign that is substantially similar to an offense that is a felony in North Carolina, and for which a guilty plea was entered or a conviction returned; (2) an offense that is a crime under the laws of another state or sovereign that does not classify any crimes as felonies but the offense is substantially similar to an offense that is a felony in North Carolina and punishable by imprisonment for more than a year in state prison, and for which a guilty plea has been entered or a conviction returned; and (3) any offense that is a felony under federal law. Makes clarifying and organizational changes. Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date and that is the principal felony offense for a charge of a status offense of habitual felon.

    Eliminates the sunset provision set out in Section 7 of SL 2009-369, as amended, which allows an individual convicted of habitual impaired driving to be eligible to petition for a hearing to restore driving privileges after 10 years without any traffic or criminal convictions (currently, expires December 1, 2016). Retroactively effective December 1, 2016. 

    Clarifies that prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of the act are not abated or affected by this act, and the statutes that would be applicable but for this act remain applicable to those prosecutions. 

    Part III. Include Breaking and Entering with Intent to Terrorize in Habitual Breaking and Entering

    Amends GS 14-7.25 to include the offense of breaking or entering with the intent to terrorize or injure an occupant of the building (a Class H felony under GS 15-54(a1)) as a habitual breaking and entering status offense punishable as provided under Article 2D of GS Chapter 14 (Habitual Breaking and Entering Status Offense). Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date. 

    Part IV. Fingerprinting Upon Arrest

    Amends GS 15A-502. Directs a court to order a person charged for an offense for which fingerprints are required, but not arrested for that offense, to submit to fingerprinting by the sheriff or other appropriate law enforcement agency at the earliest practical opportunity. Directs the sheriff to report a failure to appear for fingerprinting as ordered, and authorizes the court to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the person.

    Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

    Part V. Citizen Warrants

    Amends GS 15A-304, pertaining to warrants for arrest, to add new subsection (d1) establishing provisions to authorize a magistrate to issue a citizen's warrant or criminal summons, based solely on information supplied by a private person.

    Requires the information provided by a private person to be supported by oath or affirmation and be sufficient for the magistrate to make an independent judgment that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it. Requires the information to be shown by one or more of the methods listed in subsection (d) for showing probable cause for a warrant for arrest, which are modified by the act to include information shown by affidavit, oral testimony under oath or affirmation presented by a sworn law enforcement officer before the issuing official (currently, does not specify the oral testimony under oath or affirmation be presented by a sworn law enforcement officer), or oral testimony under oath or affirmation presented by a sworn law enforcement officer to the issuing official by means of a clear audio and video transmission.

    Directs that a citizen's summons rather than a citizen's warrant be issued unless: (1) the accused has a history of failure to appear before the court as required; (2) there is evidence that the accused is likely to escape or otherwise flee the State in order to avoid prosecution for the offense alleged; (3) there is evidence of imminent danger of harm to persons or property if the accused is not taken into custody; (4) the location of the accused is not readily discoverable, in that a criminal summons would be unlikely to be served before any court date assigned at the time of issue; (5) a relevant statute provides that arrest is mandatory for an offense charged; or (6) the seriousness of the offense constitutes grounds for an arrest warrant.

    Amends subsection (a) to make organizational changes and to add the term "citizen's warrant." Amends subsection (c) to make the requirements concerning the statement of the crime apply to both a warrant for arrest and a citizen's warrant. Makes change to subsection (d) to clarify that those provisions apply to warrants for arrest. Makes technical changes.  

    Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to warrants issued on or after that date. 


  • Summary date: Apr 25 2017 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition:

    Adds new subsection (d) to new GS 58-56A-3 to require that a contract for a network to deliver health care services between a pharmacy benefits manager and insurer be made available to the Department for review.

    Adds new subsection (e) to new GS 58-56A-3 to require the Department to report violations of that statute (consumer protection) or GS 58-56A-4 (pharmacy protection) to the Attorney General.


  • Summary date: Apr 20 2017 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Deletes proposed GS 58-56A-2 (Pharmacy of choice). Makes conforming technical changes.

    Amends proposed GS 58-56A-3 (Consumer protection). Establishes that a pharmacy or pharmacist has the right to provide an insured information regarding the amount of the insured's cost share for a prescription drug (previously, prohibited a pharmacy benefits manager from prohibiting a pharmacist or pharmacy from providing an insured information regarding the amount of the insured's cost share for a prescription drug and the clinical efficacy of a lower-priced alternative drug if one is available). Modifies and adds to subsection (b) to prohibit a pharmacy benefits manager from prohibiting, through contract, a pharmacy from offering and providing direct and limited delivery services to an insured as an ancillary service of the pharmacy, as delineated in the contract between the pharmacy benefits manager and the pharmacy. Provides in subsection (c) that a pharmacy benefits manager cannot charge or attempt to collect from an insured a co-payment that exceeds the total submitted charges by the network pharmacy (previously specified for which the pharmacy is paid). Deletes subsection (d), making a violation an unfair and deceptive trade practice and actionable under GS Chapter 75. 

    Amends proposed GS 58-56A-4 (Pharmacy and pharmacist protections) to now provide that a pharmacy benefits manager can only charge a fee or otherwise hold a pharmacy responsible for a fee relating to the adjudication of a claim if the fee is reported on the remittance advice of the adjudicated claim or is set out in contract between the pharmacy benefits manager and the pharmacy. Adds that the statute does not apply with respect to claims under an employee benefit plan under the Employment Retirement Security Act of 1974 or Medicare Part D. Deletes proposed subsections (b) (prohibiting a pharmacy benefits manager from recouping funds from a pharmacy in connection with claims for which the pharmacy has already been paid without first complying with GS Chapter 58, Article 4C, and from retaliating against a pharmacist or pharmacy for exercising rights under GS Chapter 58), (c) (providing that the statute does not apply to licensed group health maintenance organizations with an exclusive medical group contract that operate their own pharmacies), and (d) (making a violation an unfair and deceptive trade practice and actionable under GS Chapter 75, and stating that the statute does not foreclose other available remedies). 


  • Summary date: Mar 23 2017 - More information

    Amends GS 58-56A-1 to define insured andpharmacist.

    Enacts new GS 58-56A-2 (Pharmacy of choice), directing a pharmacy benefits manager to comply with pharmacy of choice requirements under GS 58-51-37.

    Enacts new GS 58-56A-3 (Consumer protections). Pharmacy benefits managers may not (1) prohibit pharmacists and pharmacies from providing an insured information regarding cost share and the clinical efficacy of lower-price alternative drugs or to penalize the pharmacist or pharmacy for doing so; (2) prohibit a pharmacist or pharmacy from offering and providing store direct delivery services to an insured; or (3) charge, or attempt to collect from, an insured a co-payment exceeding the total submitted charges by the network pharmacy for which the pharmacy is paid. Violation is an unfair and deceptive trade practice and actionable under GS Chapter 75. Does not foreclose other remedies.

    Enacts new GS 58-56A-4 (Pharmacy and pharmacist protections). Pharmacy benefits managers may not (1) charge a fee, or otherwise hold a pharmacist responsible for costs relating to the adjudication of a claim, or (2) recoup funds from a pharmacy in connection with claims for which the pharmacy has already been paid without first complying with GS Chapter 58, Article 4C, unless permitted by law, or (3) retaliate against a pharmacist or pharmacy for exercising rights under GS Chapter 58. Does not apply to licensed group health maintenance organizations with an exclusive medical group contract that operates their own pharmacies. Violation is an unfair and deceptive trade practice actionable under GS Chapter 75. Does not foreclose other remedies.

    Directs the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules to implement this act.

    Effective October 1, 2017, and applies to all contracts entered into, renewed, or amended on or after that date.


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