Habitual Felon Changes

The Justice Reinvestment Act modifies North Carolina's existing habitual felon statute and also establishes a new status of Habitual Breaking and Entering after the second conviction for certain "breaking and entering" crimes.

Habitual Felons

Effective for principal felonies committed on or after December 1, 2011, a habitualized crime will be punished “at a felony class level that is four classes higher than the principal felony... but under no circumstances ... higher than a Class C felony. G.S. 14-7.6.

Habitual Breaking and Entering


Under G.S. 14-7.25 through -7.31, a person can be charged, convicted, and sentenced as a habitual breaking and entering status offender upon his or her second conviction of breaking and entering.

Breaking and entering is defined in new G.S. 14-7.25 to include the following felonies:

  • First degree burglary (G.S. 14‑51);
  • Second degree burglary (G.S. 14‑51);
  • Breaking out of dwelling house burglary (G.S. 14‑53);
  • Breaking or entering buildings generally (G.S. 14‑54(a));
  • Breaking or entering a building that is a place of religious worship (G.S. 14‑54.1);
  • Any repealed or superseded offense substantially equivalent to any of the offenses listed above;
  • Any offense committed in another jurisdiction substantially similar to any of the offenses above.
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