GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2007

 

 

SESSION LAW 2008-129

HOUSE BILL 1003

 

 

AN ACT to provide that the court may consider a defendant's prior willful failures to comply with conditions of release when placed on supervised probation, parole, or post-release supervision as an aggravating factor and to provide that a court may extend or modify.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

SECTION 1.  G.S. 15A-1340.16(d) is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

"(12a)  The defendant has, during the 10-year period prior to the commission of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced, been found by a court of this State to be in willful violation of the conditions of probation imposed pursuant to a suspended sentence or been found by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission to be in willful violation of a condition of parole or post-release supervision imposed pursuant to release from incarceration."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 15A-1340.16(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b)      When Aggravated or Mitigated Sentence Allowed. - If the jury, or with respect to an aggravating factor under G.S. 15A-1340.16(d)(18a),G.S. 15A-1340.16(d)(12a) or (18a), the court, finds that aggravating factors exist or the court finds that mitigating factors exist, the court may depart from the presumptive range of sentences specified in G.S. 15A-1340.17(c)(2). If aggravating factors are present and the court determines they are sufficient to outweigh any mitigating factors that are present, it may impose a sentence that is permitted by the aggravated range described in G.S. 15A-1340.17(c)(4). If the court finds that mitigating factors are present and are sufficient to outweigh any aggravating factors that are present, it may impose a sentence that is permitted by the mitigated range described in G.S. 15A-1340.17(c)(3)."

SECTION 3.  G.S. 15A-1342(a) reads as rewritten:

"(a)      Period. - The court may place a convicted offender on probation for the appropriate period as specified in G.S. 15A-1343.2(d), not to exceed a maximum of five years. The court may place a defendant as to whom prosecution has been deferred on probation for a maximum of two years. The probation remains conditional and subject to revocation during the period of probation imposed, unless terminated as provided in subsection (b) or G.S. 15A-1341(c).

Extension. - The In addition to G.S. 15A-1344, the court with the consent of the defendant may extend the period of probation beyond the original period (i) for the purpose of allowing the defendant to complete a program of restitution, or (ii) to allow the defendant to continue medical or psychiatric treatment ordered as a condition of the probation. The period of extension shall not exceed three years beyond the original period of probation. The special extension authorized herein may be ordered only in the last six months of the original period of probation. Any probationary judgment form provided to a defendant on supervised probation shall state that probation may be extended pursuant to this subsection."

SECTION 4.  G.S. 15A-1344 reads as rewritten:

" 15A-1344.  Response to violations; alteration and revocation.

(a)       Authority to Alter or Revoke. - Except as provided in subsection (b), probation may be reduced, terminated, continued, extended, modified, or revoked by any judge entitled to sit in the court which imposed probation and who is resident or presiding in the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 or superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1, as the case may be, where the sentence of probation was imposed, where the probationer violates probation, or where the probationer resides. Upon a finding that an offender sentenced to community punishment under Article 81B has violated one or more conditions of probation, the court's authority to modify the probation judgment includes the authority to require the offender to comply with conditions of probation that would otherwise make the sentence an intermediate punishment. The district attorney of the prosecutorial district as defined in G.S. 7A-60 in which probation was imposed must be given reasonable notice of any hearing to affect probation substantially.

(b)       Limits on Jurisdiction to Alter or Revoke Unsupervised Probation. - If the sentencing judge has entered an order to limit jurisdiction to consider a sentence of unsupervised probation under G.S. 15A-1342(h), a sentence of unsupervised probation may be reduced, terminated, continued, extended, modified, or revoked only by the sentencing judge or, if the sentencing judge is no longer on the bench, by a presiding judge in the court where the defendant was sentenced.

(c)       Procedure on Altering or Revoking Probation; Returning Probationer to District Where Sentenced. - When a judge reduces, terminates, extends, modifies, or revokes probation outside the county where the judgment was entered, the clerk must send a copy of the order and any other records to the court where probation was originally imposed. A court on its own motion may return the probationer to the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 or superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1, as the case may be, where probation was imposed or where the probationer resides for reduction, termination, continuation, extension, modification, or revocation of probation. In cases where the probation is revoked in a county other than the county of original conviction the clerk in that county must issue a commitment order and must file the order revoking probation and the commitment order, which will constitute sufficient permanent record of the proceeding in that court, and must send a certified copy of the order revoking probation, the commitment order, and all other records pertaining thereto to the county of original conviction to be filed with the original records. The clerk in the county other than the county of original conviction must issue the formal commitment to the North Carolina Department of Correction.

(d)       Extension and Modification; Response to Violations. - At any time prior to the expiration or termination of the probation period, period or in accordance with subsection (f) of this section, the court may after notice and hearing and for good cause shown extend the period of probation up to the maximum allowed under G.S. 15A-1342(a) and may modify the conditions of probation. The probation period shall be tolled if the probationer shall have pending against him criminal charges in any court of competent jurisdiction, which, upon conviction, could result in revocation proceedings against him for violation of the terms of this probation. The hearing may be held in the absence of the defendant, if he fails to appear for the hearing after a reasonable effort to notify him. If a convicted defendant violates a condition of probation at any time prior to the expiration or termination of the period of probation, the court, in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 15A-1345, may continue him on probation, with or without modifying the conditions, may place the defendant on special probation as provided in subsection (e), or, if continuation, modification, or special probation is not appropriate, may revoke the probation and activate the suspended sentence imposed at the time of initial sentencing, if any, or may order that charges as to which prosecution has been deferred be brought to trial; provided that probation may not be revoked solely for conviction of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The court, before activating a sentence to imprisonment established when the defendant was placed on probation, may reduce the sentence, but the reduction shall be consistent with subsection (d1) of this section. A sentence activated upon revocation of probation commences on the day probation is revoked and runs concurrently with any other period of probation, parole, or imprisonment to which the defendant is subject during that period unless the revoking judge specifies that it is to run consecutively with the other period.

(d1)     Reduction of Initial Sentence. - If the court elects to reduce the sentence of imprisonment for a felony, it shall not deviate from the range of minimum durations established in Article 81B of this Chapter for the class of offense and prior record level used in determining the initial sentence. If the presumptive range is used for the initial suspended sentence, the reduced sentence shall be within the presumptive range. If the mitigated range is used for the initial suspended sentence, the reduced sentence shall be within the mitigated range. If the aggravated range is used for the initial suspended sentence, the reduced sentence shall be within the aggravated range. If the court elects to reduce the sentence for a misdemeanor, it shall not deviate from the range of durations established in Article 81B for the class of offense and prior conviction level used in determining the initial sentence.

(e)       Special Probation in Response to Violation. - When a defendant has violated a condition of probation, the court may modify his probation to place him on special probation as provided in this subsection. In placing him on special probation, the court may continue or modify the conditions of his probation and in addition require that he submit to a period or periods of imprisonment, either continuous or noncontinuous, at whatever time or intervals within the period of probation the court determines. In addition to any other conditions of probation which the court may impose, the court shall impose, when imposing a period or periods of imprisonment as a condition of special probation, the condition that the defendant obey the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Correction governing conduct of inmates, and this condition shall apply to the defendant whether or not the court imposes it as a part of the written order. If imprisonment is for continuous periods, the confinement may be in either the custody of the Department of Correction or a local confinement facility. Noncontinuous periods of imprisonment under special probation may only be served in a designated local confinement or treatment facility. Except for probationary sentences for impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1, the total of all periods of confinement imposed as an incident of special probation, but not including an activated suspended sentence, may not exceed one-fourth the maximum sentence of imprisonment imposed for the offense. For probationary sentences for impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1, the total of all periods of confinement imposed as an incident of special probation, but not including an activated suspended sentence, shall not exceed one-fourth the maximum penalty allowed by law. No confinement other than an activated suspended sentence may be required beyond the period of probation or beyond two years of the time the special probation is imposed, whichever comes first.

(e1)     Criminal Contempt in Response to Violation. - If a defendant willfully violates a condition of probation, the court may hold the defendant in criminal contempt as provided in Article 1 of Chapter 5A of the General Statutes. A finding of criminal contempt by the court shall not revoke the probation. If the offender serves a sentence for contempt in a local confinement facility, the Department of Correction shall pay for the confinement at the standard rate set by the General Assembly pursuant to G.S. 148-32.1(a) regardless of whether the offender would be eligible under the terms of that subsection.

(e2)     Mandatory Satellite-Based Monitoring Required for Extension of Probation in Response to Violation by Certain Sex Offenders. - If a defendant who is in the category described by G.S. 14-208.40(a)(1) or G.S. 14-208.40(a)(2) violates probation and if the court extends the probation as a result of the violation, then the court shall order satellite-based monitoring pursuant to Part 5 of Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes as a condition of the extended probation.

(f)        Extension, Modification, or Revocation after Period of Probation. - The court may extend, modify, or revoke probation after the expiration of the period of probation if:if all of the following apply:

(1)       Before the expiration of the period of probation the State has filed a written motion violation report with the clerk indicating its intent to conduct a revocation hearing; andhearing on one or more violations of one or more conditions of probation.

(2)       The court finds that the State has made reasonable effort to notify the probationer and to conduct the hearing earlier.probationer did violate one or more conditions of probation prior to the expiration period of probation.

(3)       The court finds for good cause shown and stated that the probation should be extended, modified, or revoked.

(4)       If the court opts to extend the period of probation, the court may extend the period of probation up to the maximum allowed under G.S. 15A-1342(a)."

SECTION 5.  Sections 1 and 2 of this act become effective December 1, 2008, and apply to offenses committed on or after that date. Sections 3 and 4 of this act become effective December 1, 2008, and apply to probation violation hearings on or after that date.  The remainder of this act becomes effective December 1, 2008.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 8th day of July, 2008.

 

 

                                                                    s/ Beverly E. Perdue

                                                                         President of the Senate

 

 

                                                                    s/ Joe Hackney

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley

                                                                         Governor

 

 

Approved 6:01 p.m. this 28th day of July, 2008