Not everyone will spend their full maximum sentence in a North Carolina prison. In fact, not everyone will spend their full minimum sentence behind bars. North Carolina has created an advanced supervised release program that allows those convicted of certain felony-level offenses to be released from prison before serving a full sentence.
In some instances, credit for time spent in jail prior to sentencing, paired with advanced supervised release, can mean that an individual will spend no additional time in prison once sentenced. Every case is different of course; an experienced criminal defense lawyer can explain your rights and whether you are eligible for early release.
One issue with ASR is that the advanced release date must be determined by the judge at sentencing. If the sentencing judge does not order you to ASR at a specific date, the Department of Corrections has no authority to do so itself. That means, if you were eligible for early release from prison through ASR, you will not be allowed to get out. Again, a criminal defense lawyer can explain this to you and ensure that if you are eligible, an ASR date is set at your sentencing hearing.
Another issue with ASR is that the prosecutor can object to an early release date and eliminate your ability to get out of prison before serving at least your minimum sentence. If that is an issue in your case, your defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor in order to secure his or her cooperation in seeking an ASR date from the judge.
For more information, please see: Can I Get Out Of Prison Early On Advanced Supervised Release?