The North Carolina General Assembly has passed several laws over the last year, and 10 of them are set to go into effect Thursday (December 1). Most of the new laws approved by the assembly involve more severe penalties for arson and theft, per WCNC.
More severe penalties await those accused of "organized retail theft" at stores around the state when the value of property stolen over the course of 90 days exceeds $50,000. Additionally, store owners will be able to sue thieves for specific damages as well as recover the stolen property more quickly.
Of the laws regarding penalties for arson, there is now new felony crimes for setting a prison on fire as well as both an occupied and unoccupied commercial structure. If a first responder receives a "serious injury" while responding to the fire, the person responsible for setting the blaze could face a felony charge.
Another new law targets car dealers who attempt to sell a vehicle before formally inspecting it, which is already required. If the dealer doesn't inspect the vehicle before the sale, they could face a $50 fine as part of an omnibus motor vehicle and transportation law.
A new law regarding enforcement of domestic violence protective orders seeks to limit potential gaps in the event an order needs to be extended. The rule will allow a judge to temporarily extend an order of protection past its expiration date if a court hearing to renew the order is needed.
Finally, a new law will allow Wildlife Resources Commission officers to accuse someone of a misdemeanor if they break NCWRC rules created to respond in an emergency to a serious wildlife disease, the outlet reports. The previous penalty was limited to a $25 fine.