164-41. Classification of offenses - ranges of punishment.

(a) The Commission shall classify criminal offenses into felony and misdemeanor categories on the basis of their severity.

(b) In determining the proper category for each felony and misdemeanor, the Commission shall consider, to the extent that they have relevance, the following:

(1) The nature and degree of harm likely to be caused by the offense, including whether it involves property, irreplaceable property, a person, number of persons, or a breach of the public trust;

(2) The deterrent effect a particular classification may have on the commission of the offense by others;

(3) The current incidence of the offense in the State as a whole;

(4) The rights of the victim.

(c) For each classification of felonies and misdemeanors formulated pursuant to subsection (b), the Commission shall assign a suggested range of punishment. The Commission shall take into consideration the current range of punishment for each offense. (1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1076, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 812, s. 12; c. 816, s. 1; 1993, c. 253, s. 5.1; c. 321, s. 200.1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 591, s. 6(a); 1995, c. 236, s. 1; 1997-256, s. 6; 1997-347, s. 2; 1997-401, s. 2; 1997-418, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 18.6(a).)