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.