Johnston County, North Carolina is conveniently located on I-95, east of Raleigh, the State Capital, in Wake County. Johnston County has retained its rural charm and heritage despite the rapid growth its attractions have provided. Within the western portion of Johnston County, at the Wake County line, a vibrant commercial and housing market has developed, attracting new residents and new businesses. Over 70 percent of all new building permits issued within Johnston County, NC occur within this portion of the county.
Established in 1746, Johnston County was, until recently, home to 10 towns, with Smithfield, the county seat, being the largest. Johnston County’s 11th municipality was established on November 3, 2009, when voters approved establishment of the Town of Archer Lodge. Johnston County’s newest municipality is located in the charmingly rural northwest portion of Johnston County’s 792-square-mile area.
The 2008 estimated population of Johnston County , NC was 163,428, according to the US Census Bureau. This was a 34 percent population increase from the year 2000, while the state of N.C. experienced an average growth of 14.6 percent.
The Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, the largest Civil War battlefield in the state, is in the eastern portion of Johnston County. The Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly showcases the heritage of the eastern North Carolina farmer with a museum, a restored farmstead, a working blacksmith shop and a one-room school house. The Ava Gardner Museum, located in Smithfield, is home to an incredible collection of artifacts from the life of Ava Gardner, Johnston County’s most famous resident. Other visitor attractions in Johnston County, NC include outlet shopping, cultural museums and historic sites. Johnston County ranks third as a visitor destination along the I-95 Corridor in North Carolina, bringing in nearly $14 million in tax revenue for the county, according to the Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau.
The nearby Raleigh-Durham International Airport provides air transportation services. In addition to the RDU airport, the Johnston County Airport Authority operates an airport located west of Smithfield. CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corporation provide rail service in Johnston County, NC for many local industries, as well as passenger service for Amtrak.
If you are facing state criminal charges, including filing a false tax return, a violation of employee withholding laws or a sales and use tax violation, your case will be heard in one of the state’s trial courts. North Carolina’s unified statewide court system is known as the General Court of Justice, with three divisions: the Appellate Division, the Superior Court and the District Court. The Superior Court and District Court are commonly referred to as the North Carolina trial courts. Johnston County is located in the Judicial District 11 for state court. Both civil and criminal cases are heard in District Court and Superior Court. The main county courthouse is located at 207 E Johnston St., Smithfield, NC 27577. The Appellate Division includes the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. Both are located in Raleigh, the state capital.
If you have been charged with a federal white collar or tax crime — including tax evasion, failure to file or use of abusive tax shelters — your case will be heard in federal court. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina is the federal court serving the eastern 44 counties in North Carolina, including Johnston County. Appeals from the Eastern District of North Carolina are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement services to the county as well as maintaining the Johnston County Detention Center, which is located at the courthouse. The detention center houses both county and federal inmates.