- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - New North Carolina laws are aimed at cracking down on revenge porn and graffiti, keeping children safe from the liquid used in electronic cigarettes and regulating how law enforcement agencies use automatic license plate readers.

Parts or all of more than 30 laws passed by North Carolina lawmakers will take effect Tuesday.

Below are highlights from the new laws:

REVENGE PORN

The law bars the distribution of nude images without the subject’s consent and with the intent to cause harm. The offense will be a felony for adult offenders and repeat juvenile offenders. At least two-dozen other states have passed laws addressing so-called revenge porn, with most enacted in the past two years.

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ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

The state will require child-resistant packaging for the nicotine liquid used in the rapidly growing electronic cigarette industry, with violations resulting in the most severe type of misdemeanor. The bill was approved unanimously by both chambers and had the backing of North Carolina-based cigarette companies and a state task force on child safety.

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GRAFFITI FELONY

Penalties have been toughened for those who spray-paint or deface public or private buildings, tombstones or public statues. While vandalism and property damage were previously addressed under state law, the new law creates an offense called “graffiti vandalism.” A violator would be charged with a misdemeanor initially, but upon a third conviction the crime would generally be upgraded to a felony.

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GROUP HOME RESIDENT PROTECTION

The law increases penalties for people who abuse group home residents and requires employees or volunteers who witness abuse to report it. The law was championed by the parents of a young man who was abused at a North Carolina nursing home.

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AUTOMATIC LICENSE PLATE READERS

The state created regulations for state and local law enforcement agencies that use automatic license plate readers in patrol cars or at fixed locations. The agencies must have a written policy on the systems’ use and keep maintenance information on file. License plate data captured by the systems can only be preserved for 90 days unless it’s subject to a search warrant or request from a law enforcement agency.

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