What is the penalty for a North Carolina possession of firearm by felon conviction?

Posted by Sean P. CecilApr 26, 20213 Comments

How will I be punished for being a felon in possession of a firearm?

The sentence for a North Carolina* possession of a firearm by a convicted felon depends, like for most other charges, on the defendant's criminal history (known in state court as their prior record level). It also may depend on whether there are any aggravating or mitigating factors established for the court.

Felony Sentencing Grid for North Carolina
NC criminal defense attorney Sean Cecil defends felonies and federal charges throughout the state.

Possession of a firearm by a felon is a Class 'G' felony, meaning that it is not a "low level" felony and sentencing must proceed in Superior Court (as opposed to District Court). Generally speaking, in Wake County, the prosecutors are very unlikely to reduce a felon in possession of firearm charge, and hold the matter over for indictment.

How sentencing works in North Carolina

The very nature of this crime assumes that the defendant has at least one prior felony criminal conviction. Low level (H & I) felonies are assigned a value of two points towards a person's prior record level. E, F, or G felonies are assigned four points, and it goes up from there. Generally speaking, a person with a prior record level of three, meaning 6-9 criminal history "points" would be looking at a presumed range of a minimum of 13-17 months in prison for a felon in possession of firearm charge. Luckily for those who don't otherwise have a solid defense to the charge, probation may be available in this situation. This information is provided by way of illustration, and is not applicable to all cases-  additional sentencing factors can move someone's sentence outside of the presumptive range, either through mitigation or aggravation. This article risks oversimplifying a complicated subject; there is no substitute for a formal consultation with an experienced North Carolina criminal defense lawyer.

We can help with your criminal charge

We defend North Carolina felony charges statewide, and offer free consultations. We have experience successfully defending gun and drug charges and are available to help.

*This article is focused on charges in state court. Sentencing considerations are different in federal court, where possession of firearm by felon charges are also pretty common. We defend gun charges in both state and federal court.