Chapel Hill, North Carolina is in the southeastern corner of Orange County, nestled among the rolling hills of the North Carolina Piedmont. Chapel Hill is nicknamed “the Southern Part of Heaven” and is best known as the home of the historic University of North Carolina, the nation’s first state university. Chapel Hill, NC, along with Durham and Raleigh, make up the three corners of the Research Triangle. Carrboro lies to the west of Chapel Hill and Hillsborough is to the north.
Chapel Hill had 54,972 residents in 2007 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Not surprisingly, this college town had a median age of 25.8, much lower than the U.S. average age of 36.7. Families accounted for half of Chapel Hill’s population. The median income of households in Chapel Hill, NC was $51,690, with the leading employment industries being educational services and health care. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System serves Chapel Hill, NC with 16 schools: 9 elementary, 4 middle, 2 high schools, and the UNC Hospital School. The major employers in Chapel Hill are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill / Carrboro City Schools, and Blue Cross / Blue Shield of NC.
The historic University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the nation’s first state university and the only public university to award degrees in the 18th century. The university was chartered in 1789, the same year George Washington first was inaugurated as the nation’s first president. From the Ackland Art Museum and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Carolina Performing Arts, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a wide array of educational and cultural opportunities for local residents.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina maintains its own police force, the Chapel Hill Police Department. The Community Services Unit works to make Chapel Hill safer through emphasis on crime prevention, personal safety and commercial theft prevention.
Getting around Chapel Hill, North Carolina is easy and convenient. Major highways through Orange County include Interstates 40 and Interstate 85. Chapel Hill Transit offers free bus service throughout the city. The Triangle Transit Authority provides public transportation between Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough. The Raleigh-Durham International Airport in northwestern Wake County also serves Chapel Hill.
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 state court. North Carolina’s unified statewide court system is known as the General Court of Justice. There are 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.
Orange County is located in the Judicial District 15 for state court. Both civil and criminal cases are heard in District Court. The main county courthouse is 106 E Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. There are alternate courthouse locations in Chapel Hill and on King St. in Hillsborough. The alternate courthouse in Chapel Hill at 179 E. Franklin St. also houses the post office and a teen center.
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 — 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 Middle District of North Carolina is the federal court serving the 24 counties in central North Carolina, including Chapel Hill in Orange County. Appeals are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the U.S. Fourth Circuit.