Stages of a North Carolina Criminal Case

This video is a pretty good description of how a North Carolina criminal case is handled:

Every case is different, so it’s important to note that not every case is handled the same way. In addition, North Carolina, unlike the federal system, has two trial divisions: District Court and Superior Court.

All misdemeanors and most felonies start out in District Court. Most misdemeanors and a large number of felonies are resolved in District Court.

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor in District Court, you have the option to appeal that conviction within 10 days of the judgment to Superior Court for a new trial in front of a jury.

Felonies are only heard in Superior Court, but many felonies are resolved by dismissal, diversion, or plea in District Court in North Carolina.

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.