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About C-CAT

The Collateral Consequences Assessment Tool, or C-CAT, is a searchable database of the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction in North Carolina.

North Carolina statutes and regulations require or authorize a wide array of collateral consequences following a criminal conviction that may affect many areas of life, including, among others, employment and professional licensure, access to public benefits, and civic rights. These consequences are scattered throughout the North Carolina General Statutes and Administrative Code, making it difficult to master the entire body of collateral consequences law without a central resource. C-CAT was created as a central database to help attorneys, policy makers, service providers, and affected individuals identify, assess, and contrast collateral consequences that may be triggered by a criminal conviction.

C-CAT is current through the North Carolina General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session. It does not purport to provide specific legal advice in individual cases. Users should refer to relevant sections of the North Carolina General Statutes and North Carolina Administrative Code. Users should seek advice from a qualified attorney as necessary.

C-CAT does not include all the areas of collateral consequences law. C-CAT excludes the following:

  • federal collateral consequences of a criminal conviction;
  • immigration consequences;
  • motor vehicle licensing;
  • residency, monitoring, and registration requirements related to conviction for certain sex offenses;
  • laws of local governments and other states;
  • recreational wildlife licensing and permitting; and
  • policies of private employers.

For resources related to areas excluded from C-CAT, visit the resources section of the homepage, below.

Each collateral consequence contained within C-CAT is displayed as an “index card.” The index card distills the important attributes of a single collateral consequence, including characteristics of the consequence and of the crime or crimes that trigger the consequence.

To begin searching for collateral consequences of interest, navigate to our Search page. Under the “Search for Collateral Consequences” tab of the Search page, users can search (1) by keyword or phrase, (2) by collateral consequence category, or (3) by using both the keyword search and the consequence category search together, to find collateral consequence index cards of interest to examine.

Search results will display in the Search Results screen to the right of the user’s search. Results are organized by specific collateral consequence titles, with offenses that trigger a specific collateral consequence bulleted below the collateral consequence title. Users can click on the triggering offenses of interest to view the index card detailing the specific collateral consequence related to that specific triggering offense. Updated features allow users to further filter their search results by entering a term into the search box on the Search Results screen. More detailed search hints are available at the bottom of the search page by clicking “Click for Search Hints.” To clear all search fields and start a new search, click on “Clear Search Results” at the top of the Search Results box.

Updated features allow users to Bookmark a search by copying the unique URL of a search entered, and either bookmarking the URL on the user’s browser or pasting the URL into a word document.

Researchers and analysts exploring collateral consequence law in North Carolina should navigate to the “Custom Search for Researchers” tab of the Search page and follow the search instructions to filter, analyze, and compare the collateral consequences of a criminal history authorized or required by North Carolina laws and administrative rules. Researchers are urged to read the explanation of the limitations of the Custom Search located on the Custom Search tab.

To gain a deeper understanding of the different aspects of an index card, or for an explanation of commonly used terms in C-CAT, view the documents linked in the resources, below.

C-CAT Team

Caitlin Little

Legal Research Associate
UNC School of Government

Caitlin Little joined the School of Government in 2016 as a Legislative Reporting Service (LRS) attorney. Beginning in 2017, Little has also worked in a research and support role for faculty with short- and long-term projects during legislative interims, including assisting the Public Defense Education team in revising publications in the Indigent Defense Manual series and leading the legal research, management, and redevelopment of C-CAT. Joining the Knapp Library Legal Research team in 2022, her primary research projects include revising Abuse, Neglect, Dependency, and Termination of Parental Rights in North Carolina, and managing C-CAT. Prior to joining the School of Government, she served in multiple state agencies and offices in research and support roles. Little earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, magna cum laude, from North Carolina State University and a J.D., cum laude, from Campbell University School of Law. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar.

John Rubin

Albert Coates Professor of Public Law and Government
UNC School of Government

John Rubin joined the School of Government in 1991, where he specializes in criminal law and public defense education. He has written several books, articles, and other resources on criminal law, including a book on The Law of Self-Defense in North Carolina and a guide to Relief from a Criminal Conviction, among other publications. He is also the editor of a seven-volume practice manual series on indigent defense. He regularly teaches and consults with judges, magistrates, prosecutors, public defenders, and other criminal justice officials.

In 2004, John created the Public Defense Education program at the School of Government, supported by contract revenue, grants, registration fees and sales, and fundraising. As director of the program, he oversees the work of several lawyers and professional employees who develop and deliver a curriculum of annual training programs, a library of reference materials, online educational offerings, and consultation services. He helped establish and continues as a consultant to the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, the statewide agency responsible for overseeing and enhancing legal representation for indigent defendants and others entitled to counsel under North Carolina law.

In 2008, John was awarded a two-year distinguished professorship for faculty excellence. In 2012, he was named Albert Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government. He has served as the faculty director for UNC’s honors study abroad program in London, teaches an honors undergraduate seminar on criminal law and justice at UNC, and beginning Summer 2022 will co-teach a Burch Field Research Seminar on criminal justice and health policy. Before joining the School of Government, John practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, California. He earned a J.D. from UNC–Chapel Hill in 1982 and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978.

Founders & Sponsors

Thanks and acknowledgement to C-CAT co-founders Whitney Fairbanks, Assistant Director and General Counsel of the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, and Daryl Atkinson, Co-Director of Forward Justice. Their dedication to the tool’s initial creation and management provided the foundation for this resource and its continued evolution.

The School of Government and the Collateral Consequences Assessment Team would like to recognize and thank our Sponsors for their generous support of C-CAT’s development. Their contributions of time and money made C-CAT and its continued evolution possible.

  • Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (primary sponsor)
  • Florence Rogers Charitable Trust
  • Richard J. Reynolds III and Marie Mallouk Reynolds Foundation
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
  • Tharrington Smith, LLP
  • Franklin Edward Freeman Jr.
  • The Fund for Justice and Education, American Bar Association
  • Donald Beskind and Wendy Robineau
  • Joseph Blount Cheshire
  • DeWitt Frank McCarley
  • Adam Stein
  • Patterson Harkavy, LLP
  • Claire J. Rauscher
  • Henry Ell Frye