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., 11/30/2022
E.g., 11/30/2022

In a per curiam decision in a case decided under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the Court held that no decision from the Court clearly establishes that a state court must impose a lower, originally expected sentence when—after the defendant has pled guilty—the State...

State v. Chandler, 376 N.C. 361 (Dec. 18, 2020)

Under G.S. 15A-1023(c), a trial court does not have the discretion to reject a defendant’s guilty plea when the plea is the defendant’s informed choice, is supported by a factual basis, and is the product of an agreement where the prosecutor does not make any recommendations concerning...

State v. Khan, 366 N.C. 448 (Mar. 8, 2013)

(1) There was no ambiguity in a plea agreement with regard to whether the defendant understood that he was stipulating to an aggravating factor that could apply to both indictments. Although the Transcript of Plea Form listed only a file number for the first indictment, the document as a whole...

State v. Rico, 366 N.C. 327 (Dec. 14, 2012)

For the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion below, the court reversed State v. Rico, 218N.C. App. 109 (Jan. 17, 2012) (holding, over a dissent, that where there was a mistake in the plea agreement and where the defendant fully complied with the agreement, and the risk of any...

The state and the defendant negotiated a plea agreement in which the defendant would plead guilty to assault by strangulation, second-degree kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon, and agreed that he would receive one consolidated active sentence. Under the terms of the plea...

The trial court erred by imposing a sentence inconsistent with that set out in his plea agreement without informing the defendant that he had a right to withdraw his guilty plea. The defendant was charged with multiple counts involving multiple victims and occurring between 1998 and 2015. On the...

Although the trial court erred by ordering the defendant to pay restitution for pecuniary losses arising from his alleged perpetration of charges in three indictments dismissed by the State pursuant to a plea agreement, the plea agreement need not be set aside. The defendant asserted that...

Because the trial court failed to consider evidence of the defendant’s eligibility for conditional discharge pursuant to G.S. 90-96, the court vacated the judgment and remanded for resentencing. The defendant pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and possession of LSD. According to the plea...

Having found that the defendant’s convictions for drug offenses that were part of a plea agreement had to be vacated on grounds of fatal defects in the indictments, the court held that the entire plea agreement and the judgments entered on it must be set aside and the matter remanded to the...

Where a negotiated plea agreement involving several charges included a plea to a crime later held to be unconstitutional, the entire agreement must be set aside. After the jury convicted the defendant of being a sex offender on the premises of a daycare, the defendant pled guilty based on a...

As conceded by the State, the trial court erred by resentencing the defendant to a sentence greater than that provided for in his plea agreement without giving the defendant an opportunity to withdraw his plea, as required by G.S. 15A-1024.

A drug trafficking defendant who pled guilty and was sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement allowing for a sentence greater than that provided for in the applicable drug trafficking statute was entitled to have the plea agreement set aside on this basis.

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to continue after rejecting his Alford plea, where the defendant did not move for a continuance until the second week of trial. The defendant argued that he had an absolute right to a continuance under G.S. 15A-1023(b) (...

The defendant’s plea was valid even though the plea agreement contained an unenforceable provision preserving his right to appeal the transfer of his juvenile case to superior court. Distinguishing cases holding that the inclusion of an invalid provision reserving the right to obtain appellate...

The trial court erred by setting aside the plea agreement in response to the defendant’s motion seeking return of seized property. The defendant pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that called for, in part, the return of over $6,000 in seized funds. The defendant complied with her...

The defendant’s plea agreement impermissibly sought to preserve the right to appeal adverse rulings on his motions to dismiss and in limine when no right to appeal those rulings in fact existed. The court remanded, instructing that the defendant may withdraw his guilty plea and proceed to trial...

The trial court erred by accepting a plea agreement that attempted to preserve the defendant’s right to appeal the trial court’s adverse ruling on his motion to dismiss a felon in possession of a firearm charge on grounds that the statute was unconstitutional as applied. Because a defendant has...

The trial court did not violate G.S. 15A-1024 (withdrawal of guilty plea when sentence not in accord with plea arrangement) by sentencing the defendant in the presumptive range. Under G.S. 15A-1024, if the trial court decides to impose a sentence other than that provided in a plea agreement, the...

The defendant’s plea had to be vacated where the plea agreement included a term that the defendant had a right to appeal an adverse ruling on a pretrial motion but the pretrial motion was not subject to appellate review.

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