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.

Instructions

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E.g., 02/28/2024
E.g., 02/28/2024

In this Moore County case, the Supreme Court per curiam affirmed and modified State v. Bradley, 282 N.C. App. 292 (2022), a case where the Court of Appeals majority concluded the trial court did not err by revoking...

In this probation revocation case from Buncombe County, the defendant failed to contact his probation officer for nearly three months until his arrest. After more than month of not being able to contact the defendant, the probation officer filed a violation report accusing him of absconding and...

State v. Morgan, 372 N.C. 609 (Aug. 16, 2019)

On appeal from a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 814 S.E.2d 843 (2018), the Supreme Court considered the statutory requirements for revoking probation after it has expired. In this case the defendant’s probation officer filed a violation report on May 12, 2016 alleging...

State v. Krider, 370 N.C. 692 (Sept. 21, 2018)

On appeal from the decision of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 810 S.E.2d 828 (2018), the court affirmed per curiam, holding that the State failed to carry its burden of presenting sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s decision to revoke the defendant’s...

State v. Moore, 370 N.C. 338 (Dec. 8, 2017)

On appeal from a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 795 S.E.2d 598 (2016), the court modified and affirmed the decision below, holding that the defendant received adequate notice of his probation revocation hearing pursuant to G.S. 15A-1345(e). The trial court revoked the...

State v. Murchison, 367 N.C. 461 (June 12, 2014)

Reversing an unpublished decision of the court of appeals, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by basing its decision to revoke the defendant’s probation on hearsay evidence presented by the State. The court noted that under Rule 1101, the formal rules of evidence do...

In this Forsyth County case, defendant appealed the revocation of his probation, arguing (1) he did not receive notice that his probation could be revoked at the hearing, and (2) that the State did not prove he committed a new criminal offense. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding no error...

In this Perquimans County case, defendant appealed the trial court’s finding that he violated the terms of his probation, arguing the trial court extended his probation after the probationary term had expired without a finding of good cause. The Court of Appeals agreed, vacating the order and...

In this Wilson County case, defendant appealed the revocation of her probation, arguing (1) insufficient evidence to support the finding she committed a new crime on probation and (2) violation of her right to confront the probation officer who filed the violation reports against her. The Court...

In this Pitt County case, defendant appealed the revocation of her probation, arguing the trial court improperly considered all of defendant’s probation violations as bases to revoke her probation in violation of G.S. 15A-1344(a). The Court of Appeals found that the trial court committed error...

In this Buncombe County case, defendant appealed an order revoking his probation, arguing the trial court failed to make a finding of good cause to revoke his probation along with other errors. The Court of Appeals agreed with defendant and vacated the trial court’s judgment without remand.  ...

In this Caldwell County case, the Court of Appeals denied the state’s motion to dismiss defendant’s appeal as untimely, but found no error with the trial court’s decision to revoke defendant’s probation for violations related to a search of his truck.

In May of 2020, defendant was pulled...

The defendant pled guilty to second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The defendant was sentenced to active terms of 176-221 months imprisonment for the second-degree murder charge and 16-20 months imprisonment for the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon...

The defendant was sentenced to 25 to 42 months in prison, suspended for 30 months of supervised probation. The defendant’s probation officer subsequently filed a violation report alleging that the defendant committed the crime of misdemeanor breaking or entering. At the probation violation...

The defendant was on supervised probation in Gaston County after pleading guilty to two counts of uttering a forged instrument. 24 months into a 30-month period of probation, a probation violation was filed, accusing the defendant of willful failure to pay. The defendant was not represented by...

The Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s judgments revoking the defendant’s probation and activating his suspended sentences imposed in connection with felonies charged in two CRS case numbers – 17 CRS 86913 and 18 CRS 338 – because discrepancies between the record and the judgements...

The defendant in this case was on supervised probation for a conviction of possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine. The defendant’s probation officer filed a violation report, alleging that the defendant had absconded from supervision and committed several other...

On July 19, August 24, and October 23, 2018, the defendant plead guilty to several charges. On each of these dates, the trial court suspended the sentences for twelve months of supervised probation and other special conditions of probation.

Between December 7, 2018 and...

The defendant was on supervised probation for a conviction of possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, and the state alleged that he violated his probation by testing positive for cocaine and committing a new criminal offense. At a hearing held on the violation, the defendant’s...

A Watauga County trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation imposed in two separate cases in other counties, one probationary sentence imposed in Lincoln County and the other in Catawba County.  As to the Lincoln County case, the State failed to meet its burden to...

The defendant pled guilty to aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle, driving while impaired, and injury to real property. The trial court sentenced the defendant to 29 – 47 months imprisonment and suspended the sentence, placing the defendant on 60 months of supervised probation. The...

The defendant was placed on 18 months of supervised probation following his guilty pleas to possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, fleeing to elude, and RDO. Shortly before his probationary term expired, the defendant’s probation officer filed a violation...

The defendant was placed on 18 months of supervised probation following his guilty pleas to possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, fleeing to elude, and RDO. Shortly before his probationary term expired, the defendant’s probation officer filed a violation...

(1) The defendant was convicted of possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule II controlled substance and sale of methamphetamine. At trial, the State presented the testimony of an expert in drug chemistry from the North Carolina State Crime Lab. She testified that she performed...

(1) The defendant was convicted of drug offenses in Gaston County on July 5, 2017 and was sentenced to 24 months of supervised probation. After reporting for his intake visit with a Gaston County probation officer, the defendant avoided probation officers for several months. Probation officers...

The Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge’s revocation of the defendant’s probation for absconding on the following facts: The defendant was released from custody on December 21, 2018, following a plea of guilty to assault with a deadly weapon on a government official. He failed to report to...

The defendant was on felony probation. During a traffic stop, a law enforcement officer found a pistol in the defendant’s car, which resulted in criminal charges for possession of firearm by a felon and carrying a concealed weapon and the filing of a probation violation report for committing new...

In this probation revocation case that was appealed by a petition for writ of certiorari, the court held that the defendant failed to demonstrate error with respect to the district court’s exercise of subject matter jurisdiction to revoke her probation.  On May 5, 2017, the defendant was placed...

The defendant was serving an active sentence when he pled guilty to other felony charges. The sentencing court imposed two 20 to 24 month sentences, suspended for 36 months on the condition of supervised probation. In the event the defendant violated probation, the two sentences would be run...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked the defendant’s probation. The State presented sufficient evidence that the defendant willfully absconded by failing to report within 72 hours of his release from custody and thereafter avoiding supervision and making his whereabouts...

Finding that the trial court properly revoked the defendant’s probation, the court affirmed but remanded for correction of a clerical error. While on probation for another offense, the defendant was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia. A probation officer filed a violation report...

The trial court abused its discretion by revoking the defendant’s probation, where the evidence was insufficient to establish absconding. The probation officer testified that the defendant absconded a week after a 26 October 2016 meeting by failing attend meetings scheduled for 28 October and 2...

The trial court lacked jurisdiction to conduct a probation revocation hearing because the defendant was not provided with adequate notice, including a written statement of the violations alleged. The trial court revoked the defendant’s probation after the defendant made multiple repeated...

The trial court did not have jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation. Four days before his 30 months of probation was to expire, the trial court entered an order extending the defendant’s probation for 12 months with the defendant’s consent. The purpose of the extension was to allow the...

The trial court did not err by revoking the defendant’s probation based on its finding that he willfully absconded from supervision. Reviewing the facts of the case, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that there was insufficient evidence that he willfully absconded from supervision.

The trial court did not err by revoking the defendant’s probation based on its finding that he willfully absconded from supervision. In so ruling, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion by making its oral findings of fact without explicitly stating...

The trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation based on the violations alleged. Here, the defendant did not waive his right to notice of his alleged probation violations and the State failed to allege a revocation-eligible violation. Thus, the trial court lacked...

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court erred by revoking her probation after its expiration because it did not make adequate findings of fact. Specifically, the defendant argued that the trial court erred by failing to make any written or oral findings of good cause to...

The trial court had jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court in Harnett County lacked jurisdiction to commence a probation revocation hearing because the probation originated in Sampson County. It held: “A trial court...

The trial court properly revoked the defendant’s probation, where the defendant committed a new crime while on probation.

The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation because the State failed to prove that the violation reports were timely filed. As reflected by the file stamps on the violation reports, they were filed after the expiration of probation in all three cases at...

(1) The trial court erred by revoking the defendant’s probation where the State failed to prove violations of the absconding provision in G.S. 15A-1343(b)(3a). The trial court found that the defendant “absconded” when he told the probation officer he would not report to the probation office and...

The trial court did not err by revoking the defendant’s probation where the evidence showed that he willfully absconded. The defendant moved from his residence, without notifying or obtaining prior permission from his probation officer, willfully avoided supervision for multiple months, and...

Because the probation officer filed violation reports after probation had expired, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation. The court rejected the State’s argument that the defendant’s period of probation did not begin until he was released from incarceration and...

Under Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) changes, the trial court erred by revoking the defendant’s probation. After reviewing the requirements of the JRA, the court noted that the trial judge did not check the box on the judgment form indicating that it had made a finding that the defendant...

(1) In this case, which came to the court on a certiorari petition to review the trial court’s 2013 probation revocation, the court concluded that it had jurisdiction to consider the defendant’s claim that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to extend her probation in 2009. (2) The trial court...

The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation when it did so after his probationary period had expired and he was not subject to a tolling period.

The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation when it did so after his probationary period had expired and he was not subject to a tolling period.

State v. Knox, 239 N.C. App. 430 (Feb. 17, 2015)

Because the trial court revoked defendant’s probation before the period of probation expired, the court rejected defendant’s argument that under G.S. 15A-1344(f) the trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke. 

State v. Knox, 239 N.C. App. 430 (Feb. 17, 2015)

Where counsel stated at the revocation hearing that defendant acknowledged that he had received a probation violation report and admitted the allegations in the report and defendant appeared and participated in the hearing voluntarily, the defendant waived the notice requirement of G.S. 15A-1345...

(1) The trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation and activate her suspended sentences where the defendant committed her offenses prior to 1 December 2009 but had her revocation hearing after 1 December 2009 and thus was not covered by either statutory provision—G.S....

The trial court erred by allowing the defendant to proceed pro se at a probation revocation hearing without taking a waiver of counsel as required by G.S. 15A-1242. The defendant’s appointed counsel withdrew at the beginning of the revocation hearing due to a conflict of interest and the trial...

A probation violation report provided the defendant with adequate notice that the State intended to revoke his probation on the basis of a new criminal offense. The report alleged that the defendant violated the condition that he commit no criminal offense in that he had several new pending...

A Sampson County superior court judge had jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation where the evidence showed that the defendant resided in that county.

(1) The trial court erred by revoking the defendant’s probation where the State failed to present evidence that the violation report was filed before the termination of the defendant’s probation. As a result, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke. (2) The court declined to consider the...

The trial court lacked jurisdiction to extend the defendant’s probation after his original probation period expired. Although the probation officer prepared violation reports before the period ended, they were not filed with the clerk before the probation period ended as required by G.S. 15A-...

The trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation and activate his sentence. Although the trial court revoked on grounds that the defendant had committed a subsequent criminal offense, such a violation was not alleged in the violation report. Thus, the defendant did not...

Applying the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA), the court held that the trial court improperly revoked the defendant’s probation. The defendant violated the condition of probation under G.S. 15A-1343(b)(2) that she not leave the jurisdiction without permission and monetary conditions under G.S. 15A...

The trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation on the basis of a violation that was not alleged in the violation report and of which she was not given notice. The violation reports alleged that the defendant violated two conditions of her probation: to “[n]ot use,...

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that his revocation was improper because the attorney who represented him at the revocation hearing was not his appointed attorney and trial court made no findings about a substitute attorney. Any error that occurred was not prejudicial.

(1) The trial court did not err by activating the defendant’s sentence on the basis that the defendant absconded by willfully avoiding supervision. The defendant’s probation required that he remain in the jurisdiction and report as directed to the probation officer. The violation report alleged...

The trial court erred by revoking the defendant’s probation. The defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days confinement suspended for one year of supervised probation. The trial court ordered the defendant to perform 48 hours of community service, although no date for completion of...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by revoking the defendant’s probation under the Justice Reinvestment Act when the defendant was convicted of another criminal offense while on probation.

(1) The trial court did not abuse its discretion by revoking the defendant’s probation. The defendant asserted that the revocation was improper because he never received a written statement containing the conditions of his probation, as required by G.S. 15A-1343(c). The court noted that the...

The trial court erred by finding that the defendant willfully violated probation by failing to have an approved residence plan. The defendant was placed on supervised probation to begin when he was released from incarceration on separate charges. On the day that the defendant was scheduled to be...

The trial court erred by revoking the defendant’s probation on grounds that he willfully violated the condition that he reside at a residence approved by the supervising officer. The defendant was violated on the day he was released from prison, before he even “touched outside.” Prior to his...

The trial court erred by failing to make findings of fact that clearly show it considered and evaluated the defendant’s evidence before concluding that the defendant violated his probation by failing to pay the cost of his sexual abuse treatment program. The defendant presented ample evidence of...

The defendant’s explanation that she was addicted to drugs was not a lawful excuse for violating probation by failing to complete a drug treatment program. 

G.S. 15A-1023(b), which grants a defendant the right to a continuance when a trial court refuses to accept a plea, does not apply when the trial court refuses to accept a plea in the context of a probation revocation proceeding.

(1) The trial court improperly ordered a forfeiture of the defendant’s licensing privileges without making a finding of fact required by G.S. 15A-1331A that the defendant failed to make reasonable efforts to comply with the conditions of her probation. The court noted that form AOC-CR-317 does...

(1) The trial court abused its discretion by revoking the defendant’s probation when the State failed to present evidence that he violated the condition of probation that he “not reside in a household with a minor child.” Although the trial court interpreted the term “reside” to mean that the...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining to further stay another judge’s order finding a probation violation for failure to pay restitution and activating the sentence but staying execution of the order when the defendant presented no evidence of an inability to pay.

The court lacked jurisdiction to consider an appeal when the defendant failed to timely challenge an order revoking his probation. If a trial judge determines that a defendant has willfully violated probation, activates the defendant’s suspended sentence, and then stays execution of his or her...

The trial court had jurisdiction to revoke the defendant’s probation. In 2003, the defendant was convicted in Haywood County and placed on probation. In 2007, the defendant’s probation was modified in Buncombe County. In 2009, it was revoked in Buncombe County. Appealing the revocation, the...

Although the probation report might have been ambiguous regarding the condition allegedly violated, because the report set forth the specific facts at issue (later established at the revocation hearing), the report gave the defendant sufficient notice of the alleged violation, as required by G.S...

Holding, in a case decided under the old version of G.S. 15A-1344(f), that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hold a probation revocation hearing where the state failed to make reasonable efforts to notify the defendant and to hold the hearing before the period of probation expired.

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