Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.


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E.g., 09/25/2022
E.g., 09/25/2022

An officer lawfully stopped a vehicle after observing the defendant drive approximately 10 mph above the speed limit. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the traffic stop was a pretext to search for drugs as irrelevant in light of the fact that the defendant was lawfully stopped for speeding. 

State v. Ford, 208 N.C. App. 699 (Dec. 21, 2010)

Citing Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 813 (1996), the court rejected the defendant’s argument that a stop for an alleged violation of G.S. 20-129(d) (motor vehicle’s rear plate must be lit so that it can be read from a distance of 50 feet) was pretextual. Under Whren, the reasonableness of a traffic stop does not depend on the actual motivations of the individual officers involved.

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