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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.

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