As of Dec. 1, 2011, there were 34 new laws on the books in North Carolina.
The “Castle Doctrine” or S.L. 2011-268 (HB 641) will change the way people can defend themselves.
Unlike North Carolina’s current Castle Doctrine which applies only to homes, the revised law now applies to vehicles and places of work. North Carolina’s new “Castle Doctrine” law will address specific circumstances under which a person can legally shoot or use deadly force against another.
Under the new statute, the lawful occupant of a home, motor vehicle or workplace isn’t required to retreat prior to using deadly force. The law presumes that a person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter one of these locations intends to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
“I will do whatever it takes to protect my family, myself and other loved ones,” said Rick Mitchell, National Sporting Clays Association Certified Instructor and Ellerbe resident. “Law abiding citizens should never have to fear the possibility of facing prison time for defending themselves or their families from a serious threat. I am glad that the lawmakers are finally getting something right.”
Changes have been made to create a criminal offense for acts that cause death or injury to an unborn child or are committed against a pregnant woman. The law is titled “The Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Ethan’s Law” and is listed as S.L. 2011-60 (HB 215).
A new law will require that law enforcement request a blood sample — under the state implied-consent laws — from any person criminally charged in any case involving death by vehicle and certain other offenses, and to seek a warrant if the driver refuses and there is probable cause to believe the offense involved impaired driving or is alcohol-related. It is listed as S.L. 2011-119 (SB 16).
S.L. 2011-190 (SB 268) creates enhanced protections for victims and witnesses by increasing the criminal penalty for the offense of intimidating or interfering with a witness.
“Laura’s Law” or S.L. 2011-191 (HB 49) will increase the punishment for DWI offenders with three or more grossly aggravated factors, to authorize the court to require continuous alcohol monitoring for certain offenders and to increase the court costs for DWI offenders.
“The Run And You’re Done Law,” S.L. 2011-271 (HB 427) allows law enforcement to impound your vehicle if you were speeding to elude arrest in the case of a felony.
S.L. 2011-307 (SB 684) is a Sex Offender Supervision/Forensic Amendment that will clarify and amend the law providing for a five-year period of post-release supervision for sex offenders by increasing the maximum sentence for sex offenders and providing for their release on post-release supervision with five years remaining on their sentence, and to provide that willful refusal to accept or comply with the terms of post-release supervision is punishable as contempt of court, and to amend the Forensic Sciences Act.
S.L. 2011-356 (SB 762) Assault on Law Enforcement and EM Worker/Felony is an act to create the offense of assault causing physical injury against a law enforcement officer or detention personnel and to increase the penalty for assault causing physical injury and for assault with a deadly weapon or inflicting serious bodily injury on emergency personnel.
An act, S.L. 2011-361 (HB 133) will create additional protection for motorcyclists from unsafe movements by other vehicles.
S.L. 2011-193 (HB 227) will create a criminal penalty for disturbing or dismembering human remains.
S.L. 2011-243 (HB 271) is an act to provide that the prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon does not apply to state probation and parole certified officers when they are off-duty.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.