New Laws in North Carolina You May Want To Know About

February 1, 2018 – Published by Robinson Law Firm

Recently, there have been new laws passed in North Carolina. At the Robinson Law Firm, we want all of our clients to stay in the know about laws in our state. Here are a few of the recently enacted laws you should know about.


Senate Bill 445: Expungements

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a new expungement law that recently went into effect for our state on December 1, 2017. Senate Bill 445 seeks to standardize the filling procedures for expungements, authorize prosecutor’s access to certain records of expungements and make other modifications to the expungement process in North Carolina.

If a person has a prior conviction or record of arrest expunged, this essentially means that it will disappear from public view. However, law enforcement officers and prosecutors will have electronic access to records expunged.

The main points of the bill, that the Robinson Law Firm wants our clients to know, are:

  • The wait period for first-time misdemeanor convictions is reduced from 15 years to 5 years.
  • The wait period for first-time felony convictions is reduced from 15 years to 10 years. (Previously, expungement laws did not differentiate between misdemeanors and felonies and both required a 15 year waiting period.)
  • There is no limit to the number of dismissals or “not guilty” charges that can be expunged, if the person has not been convicted of a felony. (Previously, a person was only allowed one expungement in a lifetime.)
  • North Carolina will now treat any conviction expunged on or after December 1, 2017 as a prior record if that person becomes a repeat offender.


House Bill 341: Designer Drugs

House Bill 341, also known as the “Synthetic Opioid and Other Dangerous Drug Control Act” makes all chemically altered fentanyl products illegal. Twelve compounds of these synthetic hallucinogens, that mimic the effects of LSD, have been listed as Schedule 1 controlled substances in North Carolina.


House Bill 243: Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention

This act, also known as STOP, is intended to reduce the supply of misused, unused and diverted opioids circulating in our state. It also seeks to reduce “doctor shopping” and improve overall care by requiring prescribers to use resources to prevent inappropriate prescribing of these controlled substances. Key provisions of STOP include:

Limiting the number of days opioids may be lawfully prescribed (no more than a 5 day supply for acute injuries and no more than a 7 day supply following surgeries).

All prescribers must use the NC Controlled Substance Reporting System (NCCSRS), a database that records all controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in outpatient pharmacies across the state.

Prescribers must also review the patient’s 12-month history in the NCCSRS database before making an initial prescription and every three months thereafter, for as long as the patient is prescribed the drug.

NPs and PAs practicing at pain clinics are required to consult with their supervising physician prior to prescribing opioids.


Senate Bill 600: Domestic Violence

This piece of legislation was signed into law to crack down on domestic violence. Senate Bill 600 allows prosecutors to use previous convictions for domestic violence and stalking as evidence of premeditation, allowing them to pursue first-degree murder charges in cases where the victim of domestic violence is killed. Prior, most domestic violence homicides were determined to be second-degree murder because the crime was committed during an argument, making premeditation difficult to prove.


In the wake of these recently enacted laws, the Robinson Law Firm wants each of our clients to know how they could be effected. Our firm is up-to-date on the latest laws passed in our state so that we can provide you with the best defense possible. Contact the Robinson Law Firm in Greenville, NC today if you are facing charges.

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