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Princeton, North Carolina, population 1,066 (U.S. Census 2000), is in eastern Johnston County, midway between Smithfield, the county seat, and the City of Goldsboro, along U.S. Highway 70. At the time of the 2000 census, the per-capita income in Princeton was $14,389, compared with $21,587 nationally. Princeton has a total area of just 0.7 square miles, and the community's motto is “Peaceful, Pleasant, Progressive and Proud.”
The pride of Princeton is the Princeton Veteran Memorial. After six years of fundraising efforts, the memorial became a reality in 2009. The only memorial of its kind in the county, the Princeton Veteran Memorial features a 30-foot pole displaying the American flag and six 25-foot poles displaying flags for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Prisoners of War.
The Boon families settled Princeton, originally named Boon Hill, in the 1740s. Boon Hill received a municipal charter from the State Legislature in 1861, and is the second oldest town in Johnston County. Reportedly, a prominent citizen from New Jersey admired Princeton University to such a degree that he influenced the name change in 1873.
Pecan lovers will enjoy Princeton's Woodard Pecan Nursery, which supplies pecans and trees to the Braxton Pecan Company. The Braxton Pecan Company offers shelled and unshelled pecans, cracking and shelling services for the public, pecan jewelry, trees, tools, and harvesting equipment.
The Princeton Police Department provides law enforcement service within the town. While crime rates are low in Princeton, according to DrinkingAndDriving.Org, 79 people per 10,000 are arrested for DUI in Johnston County, NC annually. The nonprofit organization gave Johnston County a “D” grade for the number of drunk driving citations given annually. Grades are based on the average yearly number of DUI arrests per 10,000 people, with an “A” grade representing 0-22 DUI arrests per 10,000 people each year.
In calculating DWI fines and penalties in the State of North Carolina, many variables, including grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors, determine what punishment a driver will receive if arrested and convicted of a DWI, as reported by the University of North Carolina paper called “DWI Sentencing In District Court.”
In Princeton, North Carolina, you'll find two trial courts that hear criminal cases: the Superior Court and District Court. Princeton utilizes the Johnston County Courthouse, located at 207 East Johnston Street in Smithfield. The State Superior Court is divided into eight divisions and 46 districts. This trial court hears felony criminal cases, as well as misdemeanor and infraction appeals from District Court. The Superior Court hears civil cases where more than $10,000 is in controversy. North Carolina District Courts are divided into four categories: civil, criminal, juvenile, and magistrate. Like the Superior Court, the District Court sits in the county seat. Civil cases involving less than $10,000 are heard in District Court, as are divorce, custody, and child support matters. The District Court also hears criminal matters involving misdemeanors, infractions without a jury and juvenile cases. A magistrate system is used to take guilty pleas in minor misdemeanors and traffic violations. If you're confused about the terms you hear in court, you may find this listing of criminal law terms helpful.
The Court of Appeals in Raleigh is NC's only intermediate appellate court. Fifteen judges sit in rotating panels of three, deciding questions of law on every case appealed from the Superior and District courts with the exception of death penalty cases. Appeals can range from a parking ticket case to a murder case. Cases where there is a dissent in the Court of Appeals go to the Supreme Court, as do those that the Supreme Court accepts for review through petition. Court of Appeals judges serve eight-year terms.
The Supreme Court of North Carolina, located in Raleigh, is the state's highest court and there is no further appeal in the state from its decisions. This court has a chief justice and six associate justices who sit together as a panel. The Supreme Court has no jury and makes no determination of fact; rather, it considers error in legal procedures or in judicial interpretation of the law.
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