Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

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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., 09/22/2021
E.g., 09/22/2021

In this possession of marijuana paraphernalia case, the State presented sufficient evidence to establish that the defendant constructively possessed a marijuana pipe found in a crashed vehicle. Although the defendant did not have exclusive possession of the vehicle, sufficient incriminating circumstances existed to establish constructive possession, including that the defendant was driving the vehicle; the pipe was found on the driver’s side floorboard; and the defendant admitted ownership of a small amount of marijuana found on his person.

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. When the arresting officer approached the vehicle, the defendant was sitting in the back seat and did not immediately show his hands at the officer’s request. Officers subsequently found the glass pipe on the rear floor board of the seat where the defendant was sitting. The defendant admitted that he smoked methamphetamine out of the pipe while in the car. Additionally Fisher testified that the pipe belonged to the defendant and the defendant had been carrying it in his pocket.

Where a drug paraphernalia indictment charged the defendant with possession of plastic baggies used to package and repackage pills but the State introduced no evidence of plastic baggies at trial, the trial court erred by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss. At trial, the State’s evidence showed that the defendant used a bottle to deliver the pills. The court stated: “We hold that the specific items alleged to be drug paraphernalia must be enumerated in the indictment, and that evidence of such items must be presented at trial.” 

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