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.


Navigate using the table of contents to the left or by using the search box below. Use quotations for an exact phrase search. A search for multiple terms without quotations functions as an “or” search. Not sure where to start? The 5 minute video tutorial offers a guided tour of main features – Launch Tutorial (opens in new tab).

E.g., 04/22/2024
E.g., 04/22/2024

An officer had a reasonable, articulable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot when he detained the defendant. After 10 pm the officer learned of a report of suspicious activity at Auto America. When the officer arrived at the scene he saw the defendant, who generally matched the description of one of the individuals reported, peering from behind a parked van. When the defendant spotted the officer, he ran, ignoring the officer’s instructions to stop. After a 1/8 mile chase, the officer found the defendant trying to hide behind a dumpster. The defendant’s flight and the other facts were sufficient to raise a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot. 

State v. Huey, 204 N.C. App. 513 (June 15, 2010)

An officer lacked reasonable suspicion for a stop. The State stipulated that the officer knew, at the time of the stop, that the robbery suspects the officer was looking for were approximately 18 years old. The defendant was 51 years old at the time of the stop. Even if the officer could not initially tell the defendant's age, once the officer was face-to-face with the defendant, he should have been able to tell that the defendant was much older than 18. In any event, as soon as the defendant handed the officer his identification card with his birth date, the officer knew that the defendant did not match the description of the suspects and the interaction should have ended.

An officer had reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk the defendant. The officer saw the defendant, who substantially matched a “be on the lookout” report following a robbery, a few blocks from the crime scene, only minutes after the crime occurred and travelling in the same direction as the robber. The defendant froze when confronted by the officer and initially refused to remove his hands from his pockets.

Show Table of Contents