North Carolina General Statutes § 15A-1340.17 Punishment limits for each class of offense and prior record level
(a) Offense Classification; Default Classifications. - The offense classification is as specified in the offense for which the sentence is being imposed. If the offense is a felony for which there is no classification, it is a Class I felony.
(b) Fines. - Any judgment that includes a sentence of imprisonment may also include a fine. If a community punishment is authorized, the judgment may consist of a fine only. Additionally, when the defendant is other than an individual, the judgment may consist of a fine only. Unless otherwise provided, the amount of the fine is in the discretion of the court.
(c) Punishments for Each Class of Offense and Prior Record Level; Punishment Chart Described. - The authorized punishment for each class of offense and prior record level is as specified in the chart below. Prior record levels are indicated by the Roman numerals placed horizontally on the top of the chart. Classes of offense are indicated by the letters placed vertically on the left side of the chart. Each cell on the chart contains the following components:
(1) A sentence disposition or dispositions: "C" indicates that a community punishment is authorized; "I" indicates that an intermediate punishment is authorized; "A" indicates that an active punishment is authorized; and "Life Imprisonment Without Parole" indicates that the defendant shall be imprisoned for the remainder of the prisoner's natural life.
(2) A presumptive range of minimum durations, if the sentence of imprisonment is neither aggravated or mitigated; any minimum term of imprisonment in that range is permitted unless the court finds pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.16 that an aggravated or mitigated sentence is appropriate. The presumptive range is the middle of the three ranges in the cell.
(3) A mitigated range of minimum durations if the court finds pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.16 that a mitigated sentence of imprisonment is justified; in such a case, any minimum term of imprisonment in the mitigated range is permitted. The mitigated range is the lower of the three ranges in the cell.
(4) An aggravated range of minimum durations if the court finds pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.16 that an aggravated sentence of imprisonment is justified; in such a case, any minimum term of imprisonment in the aggravated range is permitted. The aggravated range is the higher of the three ranges in the cell.
PRIOR RECORD LEVEL
I II III IV V VI
0-1 Pt 2-5 Pts 6-9 Pts 10-13 Pts 14-17 Pts 18+ Pts