Legal Question in Criminal Law in North Carolina

If a person was sentenced before the reduced time (felony to misdameanor) 3 strike law was put in place for his/her state will this time be taken off (or will this law be retro-active

Asked on 8/09/11, 11:03 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Culler Culler Law Firm, P.A.
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depends upon your state...but, for the most part, the amended statute will more than likely not apply retroactively...both the NC Constitution and the Federal Constitution do not allow anyone to be prosecuted for the same offense twice or permit the application of ex post facto crimes (crimes that make illegal actions and/or conduct which were legal at the time committed)...neither of these pricinciples directly relate to your issue, but they do provide guidance to the Court in evaluating whether a new ruling of the Supreme Court or a new statute has retroactive application...Teague v. Lane is the Supreme Court opinion on point with this issue; really hard to explain but if you have the ability to research opinons of the Supreme Court, then read Teague to get some understanding how laws have retroactive application...my guess is your situation will not be covered because at the time of the offense, the law was correct...however, sometimes the DA's Office or the US Attorney for the District within which you reside decide to modify policy based on a change in the statute which makes certain conduct illegal...you really need a lawyer to fully appreciate this issue and get a good answer to your question...good luck

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8/30/11, 5:08 am

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