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., 06/17/2022
E.g., 06/17/2022

After violating his probation, the defendant was indicted on charges of interfering with an electronic monitoring device and attaining the status of a habitual felon. The habitual felon indictment charged defendant with attaining habitual felon status based on three prior felony convictions in...

In this habitual larceny case where the defendant was sentenced as a habitual felon, the use of an ACIS printout to prove one of the defendant’s prior convictions during the habitual felon phase of trial was competent evidence that did not violate the best evidence rule.  Citing State v....

State v. Cannon, ___ N.C. App. ___, 804 S.E.2d 199 (Aug. 1, 2017) aff’d, 370 N.C. 487 (Mar 2 2018)

The State conceded, and the court held, that the trial court should not have sentenced the defendant as a habitual felon where the issue was not submitted to the jury and no formal guilty plea was made. Here, the defendant only stipulated to habitual felon status.

The court remanded for resentencing where the trial court imposed consecutive sentences based on a misapprehension of G.S. 14-7. The jury found the defendant guilty of multiple counts of robbery and attaining habitual felon status. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a habitual felon to...

The trial court did not err by ordering the defendant to serve a habitual felon sentence consecutive to sentences already being served. The defendant argued that the trial court “misapprehend[ed]” the law “when it determined that it did not have the discretion to decide” to run the defendant’s...

The trial court committed reversible error by failing to instruct the jury to disregard evidence about the defendant’s habitual felon indictment when that evidence was elicited during the trial on the underlying charges. Although the trial court sustained defense counsel’s objection and...

The trial court erred in sentencing the defendant as a habitual felon because the issue was neither submitted to the jury nor addressed by a guilty plea. A mere stipulation to the prior felonies is insufficient; there must be a jury verdict or a record of a guilty plea.

During the habitual felon trial stage, the jury may consider evidence of a prior felony presented during the trial for the principal offense. Evidence of one prior conviction was presented during the trial for the principal offense; evidence of two prior convictions was introduced in the...

Habitual misdemeanor assault cannot serve as a prior felony for purposes of habitual felon.

State v. Holloway, 216 N.C. App. 412 (Oct. 18, 2011)

A conviction for habitual misdemeanor assault can be used as a predicate felony for habitual felon status.

A defendant may be sentenced as a habitual felon for an underlying felony of drug trafficking.

Rejecting the defendant’s argument that his sentence of 84-110 months in prison for possession of cocaine as a habitual felon constituted cruel and unusual punishment. 

Trial judge could have could have consolidated into a single judgment multiple offenses, all of which were elevated to a Class C because of habitual felon status. 

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