Extraordinary Mitigation: Deviating from NC Structured Sentencing

In a previous post I commented on one way to avoid the harshest minimum sentencing provisions of North Carolina’s drug trafficking laws. A defendant in Raleigh or other parts of North Carolina can offer “substantial assistance.”

But what if someone is truly not deserving of an active sentence – meaning an immediate prison term – but has been convicted of a crime in which an active sentence is required under North Carolina’s structured sentencing?

Well, a Judge in these circumstances may find “extraordinary mitigation” – Dispositional Deviation for Extraordinary Mitigation under G.S. 15A-1340.13(g).

Extraordinary mitigation can’t be used for Class A (First Degree Murder) and Class B1 (First Degree Rape and First Degree Sex Offenses). It permits a judge to impose an “intermediate punishment” (meaning, a non-active sentence: supervised or intensive probation) where the sentencing chart would only otherwise permit the judge to impose an active sentence.

Extraordinary mitigation is pretty rare. It is meant for those special cases where a defendant has been convicted, but really do extraordinary things to deserve a lesser punishment. If you think you might qualify for extraordinary mitigation, feel free to call me for a free consultation.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.