(a) A criminal pleading must contain:
(1) The name or other identification of the defendant but the name of the defendant need not be repeated in each count unless required for clarity.
(2) A separate count addressed to each offense charged, but allegations in one count may be incorporated by reference in another count.
(3) A statement or cross reference in each count indicating that the offense charged therein was committed in a designated county.
(4) A statement or cross reference in each count indicating that the offense charged was committed on, or on or about, a designated date, or during a designated period of time. Error as to a date or its omission is not ground for dismissal of the charges or for reversal of a conviction if time was not of the essence with respect to the charge and the error or omission did not mislead the defendant to his prejudice.
(5) A plain and concise factual statement in each count which, without allegations of an evidentiary nature, asserts facts supporting every element of a criminal offense and the defendant's commission thereof with sufficient precision clearly to apprise the defendant or defendants of the conduct which is the subject of the accusation. When the pleading is a criminal summons, warrant for arrest, or magistrate's order, or statement of charges based thereon, both the statement of the crime and any information showing probable cause which was considered by the judicial official and which has been furnished to the defendant must be used in determining whether the pleading is sufficient to meet the foregoing requirement.
(6) For each count a citation of any applicable statute, rule, regulation, ordinance, or other provision of law alleged therein to have been violated. Error in the citation or its omission is not ground for dismissal of the charges or for reversal of a conviction.
(7) A statement that the State intends to use one or more aggravating factors under G.S. 15A-1340.16(d)(20), with a plain and concise factual statement indicating the factor or factors it intends to use under the authority of that subdivision.
(b) If any count of an indictment or information charges more than one offense, the defendant may by timely filing of a motion require the State to elect and state a single offense alleged in the count upon which the State will proceed to trial. A count may be dismissed for duplicity if the State fails to make timely election.
(c) In trials in superior court, allegations of previous convictions are subject to the provisions of G.S. 15A-928.
(d) In alleging and proving a prior conviction, it is sufficient to state that the defendant was at a certain time and place convicted of the previous offense, without otherwise fully alleging all the elements. A duly certified transcript of the record of a prior conviction is, upon proof of the identity of the person of the defendant, sufficient evidence of a prior conviction. If the surname of a defendant charged is identical to the surname of a defendant previously convicted and there is identity with respect to one given name, or two initials, or two initials corresponding with the first letters of given names, between the two defendants, and there is no evidence that would indicate the two defendants are not one and the same, the identity of name is prima facie evidence that the two defendants are the same person.
(e) Upon motion of a defendant under G.S. 15A-952(b) the court must dismiss the charges contained in a pleading which fails to charge the defendant with a crime in the manner required by subsection (a), unless the failure is with regard to a matter as to which an amendment is allowable.
(f) Upon motion of a defendant under G.S. 15A-952(b) the court may strike inflammatory or prejudicial surplusage from the pleading. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 642, s. 2; 1989, c. 290, s. 3; 2005-145, s. 3.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014