Classes of Felonies in North Carolina

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”


In states all across America, average residents in need of legal advice must be able to trust the information and resources of professionals such as criminal defense attorneys. In today’s digital age, resources such as blogs and informational websites provide interested readers with the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of the legal system as it pertains to their unique needs.


police-car-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer-300x169However, as any experienced criminal defense attorney can tell you, even concepts that seem rudimentary to a legal professional can still seem foreign to readers who are not well-versed on the topic. In the world of legal writing, this concern becomes salient when looking at how many legal blogs and resources present information on classes of felonies associated with state law.


In North Carolina, felony crimes are organized in a 10-letter system, ranging from Class A to Class I. While many online resources are quick to state what class of felony a certain offense falls into, many do not take the time to explain the difference between classes and what constitutes a certain class of felony in the state. The following is some general information for North Carolina residents regarding the different classes of felonies in their state.


The 10 Classes of Felonies in North Carolina


There are many factors that determine the class of felony into which an act falls. However, putting aside the consideration of prior criminal records and courts’ dispositional ranges, below is a summary of each class of felony according to North Carolina law, along with sentencing ranges:


  • Class A felony: Eligible for death penalty or life in prison with or without parole.
  • Class B1 felony: Between 144 months in prison up to life in prison without parole.
  • Class B2 felony: Between 92 to 393 months in prison.
  • Class C felony: 44 to 182 months in prison.
  • Class D felony: 38 to 160 months in prison.
  • Class E felony: 15 to 63 months in prison.
  • Class F felony: 10 to 41 months in prison.
  • Class G felony: 8 to 31 months in prison.
  • Class H felony: 4 to 25 months in prison.
  • Class I felony: 3 to 12 months in prison.


Dispositional Ranges and Sentence Lengths in North Carolina


Readers can see in the prior section that each felony class contains a range of term lengths. Working with your criminal defense attorney, you will then build a case that shows why your sentence length should be lowered. Courts in North Carolina look for certain aggravating or mitigating factors to determine what the ultimate sentencing length should be in a particular case.


An example of an aggravating factor the courts may find is whether or not the defendant was hired to commit a specific crime, or if the crime was specifically cruel or extreme. Mitigating factors, on the other hand, may help a defendant show that their sentence should be lowered. An example of a mitigating factor would be the fact that the defendant is the sole provider for his or her family.


The Need for Professional Counsel


When charged with a felony, defendants need strong legal counsel. For years, the attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have been working with residents in Charlotte and North Carolina to structure the best defense possible for their unique case. Please contact us today to get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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