The legislature has enacted a handful of criminal laws that went into effect in December.
Senate Bill 445 Burt’s Law
This law makes it a crime for any staff member or volunteer in an adult care home for individuals suffering from mental illness or developmental disability to fail to report abuse or physical harm within 24 hours of the incident. Within the law is a provision that increases the penalties for the intentional injury of adult care home residents and for taking a resident’s personal property.
House Bill 113 Changes to Sex Abuse Statute
This bill makes it a felony for teachers, coaches, and other school personnel to engage in sex acts with a student when the personnel are less than four years older than the victim.
Senate Bill 238 Cyberstalking
This is currently a Class 2 misdemeanor, but a provision has been added to include GPS tracking under the definition of cyberstalking. It is now illegal to use a GPS tracker to track the movement on another adult. Parents tracking their children’s location or adults putting GPS devices on their own vehicles are excluded.
House Bills 691 and 560 Assaults on Members of the National Guard or Doctors
These bills make it felonies to assault a member of the National Guard while that individual is in the course of discharging his/her duties or to assault a doctor or other licensed health care provider discharging his or her duties at a hospital.
House Bill 792 Revenge Porn
It is now a felony to post explicit photos or videos of any person without consent if the posting is for the purpose of harassment, extortion, or intimidation of the victim. It also gives victims the right to sue the perpetrators for damages.
House Bill 341 Designer Drugs
A new compound called “NBOMe” has been added to North Carolina’s Schedule 1 controlled substance listing. This is a synthetic hallucinogen that mimics the effects of LSD. In addition, certain variants of Ritalin has been added to a list of drugs subject to lesser restrictions.
House Bill 562 New Gun Laws
Background checks sheriffs can conduct on people applying for pistol permits or to purchase a handgun without a concealed carry permit has been limited to a five year look-back period.