Local News

Glance At New N.C. Laws Taking Effect Dec. 1

Posted November 29, 2005

— More than 40 new laws in North Carolina law that take effect Thursday. The laws will:

  • Add minimum age and safety restrictions for operators of all-terrain vehicles.
  • Ban online hunting of animals located in North Carolina using a computer and a remote-controlled rifle.
  • Permit consumers to put a security freeze on their credit reports to prevent identity thieves from opening accounts and generating credit using stolen information.
  • Make it a crime if a driver and a passenger switch places after a car accident and flee the scene. The law was passed in response to the 2003 death of Tar Heel Sports Network commentator Stephen Gates when he was hit by a car as he changed a tire on an Orange County interstate ramp.
  • Make it a felony for a person to solicit sex from a person they believe to be a minor, including police officers posing as children.
  • Lower threshold for felony larceny from $1,000 to $300 in some circumstances when the stolen goods came from a permitted construction site.
  • Make it a felony for failing to return a rental car valued at more than $4,000. Otherwise, it's a misdemeanor.
  • Amend the indecent exposure law to make it a felony when the incident involves an adult perpetrator and a victim under 16 years old.
  • Make it a felony to break-in to a church, synagogue or other house of worship.
  • Increase penalties for people who exploit the elderly or disabled financially.
  • Create a criminal offense for concealing a person's death.
  • Make it a state crime to record or copy a film showing in a movie theater.
  • Make intentionally pointing a laser beam at a traveling aircraft a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
  • Require a deposit from people arrested for dogfighting to pay for the care of impounded dogs while the case is adjudicated.
  • Restrict access to photos and recordings from official autopsy reports.
  • Make promoting or watching cockfighting a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
  • Enforce "Rachel's Law," which increases punishments for someone who fires a gun into an occupied car or home. It was named after Rachel Sanchez, a 5-year-old girl shot in the head while traveling on Interstate 40 in Catawba County in 2003.
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