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What is a habitual felon?

The most basic definition of a habitual felon is someone who has been convicted of at least three felony charges. However, it is a bit more complex than that. According to the North Carolina General Assembly, these felony convictions need to have happened after you turned 18 years old and should occur on three separate occasions. For example, if you were charged with three felony counts for one crime, that would only count as one felony conviction towards the habitual felon charge.

To be found a habitual felon, you must be charged with it in court. This requires a grand jury to indict you and a trial to take place to convict you. Once you are convicted, you receive the habitual felon status and will be subjected to harsher sentencing if you are convicted of felony crimes in the future. All future crimes will be elevated to at least Class C if they are not already at that level or above it.

There are some exceptions to what are considered felonies towards this charge. For example, any felony charge before July 6, 1967, is not considered towards the habitual felon status. In addition, some federal charges for alcohol-related crimes and any conviction that has been pardoned are also not counted towards the three felonies. In general, all that is needed to prove this status is for the prosecution to show your previous court documents stating the felony convictions. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice

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