New laws, effective Sunday, include changes for telemarketers, drivers and sexual consent

Posted November 29, 2019 4:44 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2019 11:40 a.m. EST

— More than a dozen new criminal laws take effect on Sunday, ranging from new consumer protections to historic changes in the state's sexual assault laws.

As of Sunday, North Carolina will no longer be the only state in the country where a person cannot withdraw sexual consent if he or she changes his or her mind.

That's a change that took state lawmakers decades to accomplish.

The new law also makes it clear that a person who is incapacitated is not capable of giving consent. And it gives victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to file suit against an abuser.

In consumer protection, ride-share drivers will now face stiff fines if they don't have a lighted sign or if their license plate number is not visible on the front of their car.

And it's finally officially illegal for a telemarketer to use a fake number to lure someone into answering the phone – a practice known as spoofing.

Law enforcement and emergency responders will also have some new protections under the law.

As of Sunday, assaulting a police officer with a firearm will carry a sentence of at least three years behind bars. That law also increases penalties for assaulting emergency responders, firefighters or hospital personnel, especially if a gun is used in the assault.

And if you're headed out on the roads, be aware that the state's Move Over law now carries more serious penalties. Anyone who violates that law and injures someone as a result will face jail time.

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