State v. Price, 233 N.C. App. 386 (Apr. 1, 2014)

The court ruled that the trial court erred by granting the defendant’s motion to suppress. A wildlife officer approached the defendant, dressed in full camouflage and carrying a hunting rifle, and asked to see his hunting license. After the defendant showed his license, the officer asked how he got to the location; he replied that his wife transported him there. The officer then asked him whether he was a convicted felon. The defendant admitted that he was. The officer seized the weapon and the defendant was later charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court ruled that the defendant was neither seized under the Fourth Amendment nor in custody under Miranda when the officer asked about his criminal history, and therefore the trial court erred by granting the motion to suppress. The court further noted that the officer had authority to seize the defendant’s rifle without a warrant under the plain view doctrine.