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According to the North Carolina Statutes, this is the guideline for all misdemeanor punishments:
Punishment for Misdemeanors (14-3)
"...convicted for any misdemeanor for which nonspecific punishment is prescribed by statute shall be punishable by fine, by imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or by both, in the discretion of the court
Here is the statue stating the guidelines for unauthorized use:
14‑72.2. Unauthorized use of a motor‑propelled conveyance.
(a) A person is guilty of an offense under this section if, without the express or implied consent of the owner or person in lawful possession, he takes or operates an aircraft, motorboat, motor vehicle, or other motor‑propelled conveyance of another.
(b) Unauthorized use of an aircraft is a Class H felony. All other unauthorized use of a motor‑propelled conveyance is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
In this case, the crime would be considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Therefore, the first definition above is the maximum that would be sentenced. Beyond that, it is at the discretion of the court to decide if the maximum will be followed, or if the sentence
will be of a lesser degree. For a first offense, it is likely that the maximum will not be enforced.
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