Corey Atkinson and Gregory Melton face potentially tough sentences after they were caught in separate instances of breaking and entering. The two men together have over 300 charges against them, both past and present. Atkinson was caught in a case of breaking and entering after having been freed on bail of $2,500. Melton faces charges of breaking into five different homes in a single day.
North Carolina recently passed a new habitual breaking and entering law which will be used against Atkinson and Melton. In addition, the two men will be charged under the older habitual felon law which allows for upgraded charges to be brought against those who have been convicted of at least three felonies in the past.
The newer habitual breaking and entering law was passed in 2011. That law allows for anyone accused of breaking and entering to be charged with a more serious crime if they have a previous conviction on their record for breaking and entering. The habitual felons law by comparison is commonly known as a three strikes law because it allows for a fourth felony offense to be upgraded four felony classes higher up to a class C felony even if it and all the previous felony convictions were on lesser charges.
Additionally, even if all a person has is misdemeanor charges on their record, this can be used against them in court. Habitual misdemeanor assault allows for a series of misdemeanor convictions to be used to increase a misdemeanor assault to a felony. Additionally, judges are free to exercise their discretion to increase sentences to the maximum allowed by law if a person is a serial offender.
The bottom line is that if you or a loved one has been charged with any kind of a crime in the state of North Carolina, you need a very good criminal defense lawyer on your side. Your attorney may be able to get charges reduced or eliminated. Or, in the event of a conviction, your criminal defense lawyer may at least be able to reduce the imposed sentence.
Posted in Criminal Defense