Most people don’t keep up with statutory amendments, proposed legislation, or case law developments, but are generally aware of prohibited behavior like stealing, assault etc. that is illegal in North Carolina. However, ignorance of the law is not a defense, and most people aren’t aware that other, more obscure activities, such as serving alcohol at a bingo game, stealing grease, or failing to keep a detailed record of cotton sales, that constitute crimes. Here are some of the stranger North Carolina criminal laws that could land you in the slammer as originally highlighted by Charlotte Stories:
It's illegal to borrow your neighbor's dog.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-82. Taking horses, mules, or dogs for temporary purposes. If any person shall unlawfully take and carry away any horse, gelding, mare, mule, or dog, the property of another person, secretly and against the will of the owner of such property, with intent to deprive the owner of the special or temporary use of the same, or with the intent to use such property for a special or temporary purpose, the person so offending shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
Oral sex is a Felony
North Carolina General Statute § 14-177. Crime against nature.
If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon. Among other acts, oral sex is considered to be a crime against nature.
It's illegal to hold an organizational meeting while wearing a mask
North Carolina General Statute § 14-12.10. Holding meetings or demonstrations while wearing masks, hoods, etc.
No person or persons at least 15 years of age shall while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, hold any manner of meeting, or make any demonstration upon the private property of another unless such person or persons shall first obtain from the owner or occupier of the property his or her written permission to do so, which said written permission shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which said property is located before the beginning of such meeting or demonstration.
It's illegal to have sex in a hotel room if you're not married (and it's also illegal to lie about being married).
North Carolina General Statute § 14-186. Opposite sexes occupying same bedroom at hotel for immoral purposes; falsely registering as husband and wife.
Any man and woman found occupying the same bedroom in any hotel, public inn or boardinghouse for any immoral purpose, or any man and woman falsely registering as, or otherwise representing themselves to be, husband and wife in any hotel, public inn or boardinghouse, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
It's against the law to not pay taxes on any illegal drugs you deal.
North Carolina General Statute § 105-113.107. Excise tax on unauthorized substances.
(a)Controlled Substances. - An excise tax is levied on controlled substances possessed, either actually or constructively, by dealers at the following rates:
(1) At the rate of forty cents (0.40) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of harvested marijuana stems and stalks that have been separated from and are not mixed with any other parts of the marijuana plant.
(1a) At the rate of three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of marijuana, other than separated stems and stalks taxed under subdivision (1) of this section.
(lb) At the rate of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of cocaine.
(2) At the rate of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each gram, or fraction thereof, of any other controlled substance that is sold by weight.
It's illegal to serve alcohol at a bingo game.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-293. Allowing gambling in houses of public entertainment; penalty.
If any keeper of an ordinary or other house of entertainment, or of a house wherein alcoholic beverages are retailed, shall knowingly suffer any game, at which money or property, or anything of value, is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, to be played in any such house, or in any part of the premises occupied therewith; or shall furnish persons so playing or betting either on said premises or elsewhere with drink or other thing for their comfort or subsistence during the time of play, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any person who shall be convicted under this section shall, upon such conviction, forfeit his license to do any of the businesses mentioned in this section, and shall be forever debarred from doing any of such businesses in this State.
Stealing over $1,000 of grease is a class H felony.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-79.2. Waste kitchen grease; unlawful acts and penalties. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
1. Take and carry away, or aid in taking or carrying away, any waste kitchen grease container or the waste kitchen grease contained therein, which container bears a notice that unauthorized removal is prohibited without written consent of the owner of the container. 2. Intentionally contaminate or purposely damage any waste kitchen grease container or grease therein. 3. Place a label on a waste kitchen grease container knowing that it is owned by another person in order to claim ownership of the container.
(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be penalized as follows: 1. If the value of the waste kitchen grease container, or the container and the waste kitchen grease contained therein, is one thousand dollars ($1,000) or less, it shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. 2. If the value of the waste kitchen grease container, or the container and the waste kitchen grease contained therein, is more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), it shall be a Class H felony.
For more information on North Carolina criminal law, contact one of the attorney's at Parton & Associates, PLLC.
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The law applies differently in each situation. Nothing on this page should be construed as or be relied upon as legal advice.