He’s the first new District Attorney in Mecklenburg County in 36 years and Andrew Murray has a plan to “slow the revolving door” that was sending repeat criminals back on the street. According to the Charlotte Observer, the District Attorney’s office is set to send double the number of habitual offenders to prison this year than last year, about 500.
One of the things the former DA was criticized for, though being applauded for his work overall, was releasing multiple-time felons back onto the streets. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in particular struggled with this. A spokesperson for the CMPD stated “there’s probable nothing more frustrating to see the same individuals prey on our community over and over.”
Even before he took office, DA Murray told the public he would be going after such multiple time offenders, and has since directed his staff of prosecutors to seek lengthy sentences for habitual offenders, those convicted of violent crimes, and gang members.
Murray also has it out for felons found in possession of firearms. He’s warned them that they will go to jail. “Guns in the wrong hands in this community are a danger and a menace.”
In his first 100 days in office, Murray is said to have obtained “significant active sentences” for 137 habitual offenders, all having more than 3 prior felonies on their record.
North Carolina is one of several states with a habitual offender law. It’s similar to the controversial Three Strikes law in California. But in North Carolina, he specifics of the law are a little different.
If you are convicted for a third felony, you can be labeled a habitual felon. After this conviction, any further felony convictions are sentenced as a Class C felony. Class C felonies can carry anywhere from almost 5 years in prison to over 17 years.
This means even the least serious of felony charges, a Class I Felony, would be punishable by this elevated Class C sentences. For violent offenses, the penalties are multiplied even more.
DA Murray has told the community that “Our resolve is strong” and “Our commitment is unwavering.” There is little doubt that his office will be seeking some harsher penalties than in years past. If you are facing charges in the Charlotte area and you have prior felony convictions, having an aggressive defense attorney on your side might be a good idea.
Even if this is your first charge, you have every right to be nervous as it seems local prosecutors are coming down hard on everyone. Contact our attorneys today for a consultation on your case and to see how we might be able to help.