The aim of this study was to examine the behavior of the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites depending on the fiber orientation and to understand the influence of microstructural discontinuities on mechanical properties. For the tests 210 gsm prepreg composite and 200 gsm carbon fabric with polymer matrix have been used. Samples were structured and later examined according to the ASTM-D3039 and ASTM-D3878 (equivalents are ISO 20975, ISO 527-4 and ISO 527-5). Accordingly, to the number of layers, three ways of the fibers arranging in relation to the applied force were used. Mechanical properties were determined in a static tensile test. The results of imaging studies, which included analyzes of Digital Image Correlation, Computed Tomography and Scanning Electron Microscopy, showed structural discontinuities, specific stress distribution and propagation of stresses depending on the production technology, which were correlated with the obtained strength results. The source of the gradual development of the degradation of the composite structure was observed in local microdamages and microcracks. As a result of a sub-critical crack growth within the resin matrix material, the defects are subject to a complex, multi-axial stress field on the micro-scale, even if the globally applied force is axial. Samples in which the load was applied along the axis of the fibers behave like an elastic material, while samples, where the force is applied at an angle to the axis of the fibers, tend to behave like an elastic-plastic material.