State v. Petty, 212 N.C. App. 368 (Jun. 7, 2011)

Having erroneously arrested judgment on a DWI charge to which the defendant had pleaded guilty, the trial court had authority to correct the invalid judgment and sentence the defendant even after the session ended. Citing State v. Branch, 134 N.C. App. 637 (1999), the court noted in dicta that the trial court’s authority to correct invalid sentences includes sentences that exceed the statutory maximum. For a more detailed discussion of Branch and the trial court’s authority to sua sponte correct errors, see Jessica Smith, Trial Judge’s Authority to Sua Sponte Correct Errors after Entry of Judgment in a Criminal Case, Admin. of Justice. Bull. May 2003 (UNC School of Government) (online here :