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., 10/19/2021
E.g., 10/19/2021

Ruling in a civil suit against the District of Columbia and five of its police officers brought by individuals arrested for holding a raucous, late-night party in a house they did not have permission to enter, the Court held that the officers had probable cause to arrest the partygoers and were...

On appeal from a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, State v. Parisi, ___ N.C. App. ___, 817 S.E.2d 228 (2018) (discussed in an earlier blog post by Shea Denning, https://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/got-...

The court per curiam affirmed a decision of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 814 S.E.2d 618 (2018), holding that because an officer had probable cause to arrest the defendant for impaired driving, the trial court erred by granting the defendant’s motion to suppress....

State v. Biber, 365 N.C. 162 (June 16, 2011)

The court reversed a decision of the Court of Appeals and held that probable cause supported the defendant’s arrest for drug possession. In the decision below, the Court of Appeals held that there was insufficient evidence that the defendant had constructive possession of the substance at issue...

The court affirmed per curiam Steinkrause v. Tatum, 201 N.C. App. 289 (Dec. 8, 2009) (holding, over a dissent, that there was probable cause to arrest the defendant for impaired driving in light of the severity of the one-car accident coupled with an odor of alcohol).

The defendant was charged with impaired driving, was convicted in district court, appealed to superior court, and prevailed on a motion to suppress at a pretrial hearing in superior court. The State appealed. (1) The Court of Appeals rejected the State’s argument that the superior court judge...

In this case involving drug charges and a charge of driving without an operator’s license, the court declined to address the defendant’s argument that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to prolong the traffic stop and search the defendant, finding that the search was justified as a search...

Probable cause supported the defendant’s second arrest for impaired driving. After the defendant’s first arrest for DWI, he signed a written promise to appear and was released. Thirty minutes later Officer Hall saw the defendant in the driver’s seat of his vehicle at a gas station, with the...

In this murder case, officers had probable cause to arrest the defendant. Thus, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to suppress incriminating statements made by the defendant after arrest. After law enforcement discovered a woman’s body inside an abandoned, burned car,...

In this armed robbery and murder case, the trial court did not err by concluding that law enforcement officers had probable cause to arrest the defendant. Among other things, the defendant placed a telephone call using the victim’s cell phone about 20 minutes before the victim’s death was...

An officer had probable cause to arrest the defendant for DWI. After the officer stopped the defendant’s vehicle, he smelled a moderate odor of alcohol coming from the defendant and noticed that the defendant’s eyes were red and glassy. Upon administration of an HGN test the officer observed...

An officer had probable cause to arrest the defendant for DWI. The officer responded to a call involving operation of a golf cart and serious injury to an individual. The defendant admitted to the officer that he was the driver of the golf cart. The defendant had “very red and glassy” eyes and “...

(1) Because the officer saw the defendant drive through a red light, the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant’s vehicle. (2) Where upon stopping the defendant’s vehicle the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol and saw that the defendant had red glassy eyes, the defendant...

The trial court properly granted the defendant’s motion to suppress where no probable cause supported the defendant’s arrest for impaired driving and unsafe movement. The defendant was arrested after he left a bar, got in his SUV and backed into a motorcycle that was illegally parked behind him...

Probable cause supported the defendant’s arrest for DWI. When the officer stopped the defendant at a checkpoint, the defendant had bloodshot eyes and a moderate odor of alcohol. The defendant admitted to “drinking a couple of beers earlier” and that he “stopped drinking about an hour” before...

Officers had probable cause to arrest the defendant for impaired driving. An officer saw the defendant lying behind a car on the ground, with his shirt over his head and his head in the sleeve hole. The defendant appeared unconscious. When the officer tried to arouse the defendant, he woke up...

An officer had probable cause to arrest the defendant after he felt something hard between the defendant’s buttocks during a weapons pat down. Based on his training and experience the officer inferred that the defendant may have been hiding drugs in his buttocks. The court noted that the...

Because probable cause supported the issuance of arrest warrants for assault on a female, the defendants were shielded by public official immunity from the plaintiff’s claims based on false imprisonment and other grounds. The defendant officer told the magistrate that the plaintiff, a teacher,...

A detailed tip by an individual, who originally called the police anonymously but then identified himself and met with the police in person, was sufficiently corroborated by the police to establish probable cause to arrest the defendant. 

There was probable cause to arrest the defendant for resisting, delaying, and obstructing when the defendant fled from an officer who was properly making an investigatory stop. Although the investigatory stop was not justified by the fact that a passenger in the defendant’s car was wanted on...

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