(a)        If a person is convicted of a felony and it is found as provided in this section that the person wore or had in his or her immediate possession a bullet-proof vest at the time of the felony, then the person is guilty of a felony that is one class higher than the underlying felony for which the person was convicted.

(b)        Repealed by Session Laws 2003-378, s. 4, effective August 1, 2003.

(b1)      This section does not apply to law enforcement officers, unless the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, both of the following:

Terms Used In North Carolina General Statutes 15A-1340.16C

  • defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of a statute, shall be construed to mean the section next preceding or next following that in which such reference is made; unless when some other section is expressly designated in such reference. See North Carolina General Statutes 12-3
  • indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, shall be construed to extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories, so called; and the words "United States" shall be construed to include the said district and territories and all dependencies. See North Carolina General Statutes 12-3
  • trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

(1)        That the law enforcement officer was not performing or attempting to perform a law enforcement function.

(2)        That the law enforcement officer knowingly wore or had in his or her immediate possession a bulletproof vest at the time of the commission of the felony for the purpose of aiding the law enforcement officer in the commission of the felony.

(c)        An indictment or information for the felony shall allege in that indictment or information or in a separate indictment or information the facts set out in subsection (a) of this section. The pleading is sufficient if it alleges that the defendant committed the felony while wearing or having in the defendant’s immediate possession a bulletproof vest. One pleading is sufficient for all felonies that are tried at a single trial.

(d)       The State shall prove the issue set out in subsection (a) of this section beyond a reasonable doubt during the same trial in which the defendant is tried for the felony unless the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to that issue. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to the felony but pleads not guilty to the issue set out in subsection (a) of this section, then a jury shall be impaneled to determine that issue.

(e)        Subsection (a) of this section does not apply if the evidence that the person wore or had in the person’s immediate possession a bulletproof vest is needed to prove an element of the felony. (1999-263, s. 1; 2003-378, s. 4.)