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., 06/29/2024
E.g., 06/29/2024

In this Johnston County case, defendant appealed her conviction for misdemeanor fleeing to elude arrest, arguing insufficient evidence of her specific intent to evade arrest. The Court of Appeals found no error. 

In October of 2020, officers attempted to pull over defendant for driving through a stop sign at an apartment complex. Defendant initially did not stop, and instead sped up in a residential area, turned on her hazard lights, and called 911 to inquire if the vehicle attempting to pull her over was actually a police vehicle. Even after being advised that the car attempting to pull her over was a police vehicle, defendant kept driving, ignoring several stop signs and exceeding the speed limit. Defendant eventually returned to the apartment complex and stopped, where she was arrested. She was eventually convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and misdemeanor fleeing to elude arrest. 

Considering defendant’s argument of insufficient evidence of her intent to evade arrest, the Court of Appeals disagreed, pointing to the substantial evidence of defendant’s flight from officers. Defendant drove for several miles, passing many safe areas to pull over, at a rate of speed above the posted speed limit. She also threw marijuana out of the vehicle as she drove away from officers, and initially refused to comply when she stopped at the apartment complex. The court explained “[t]his is not a case of a nervous motorist taking a moment longer than necessary to stop for an officer in order to pull into a well-lit or populated parking lot.” Slip Op. at 7, quoting State v. Cameron, 223 N.C. App. 72 (2012). 

In a speeding to elude case, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that she did not intend to elude an officer because she preferred to be arrested by a female officer rather than the male officer who stopped her. The defendant’s preference in this regard was irrelevant to whether she intended to elude the officer. 

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