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., 06/18/2022
E.g., 06/18/2022

In this case, the Court held, in an opinion by Justice Kagan, that the flight of a person suspected of a misdemeanor offense does not categorically justify an officer’s warrantless entry into a home.  Instead, an officer must consider all the circumstances in a case involving the pursuit...

The petitioner appealed from his impaired driving conviction on the basis that the State violated the Fourth Amendment by withdrawing his blood while he was unconscious without a warrant following his arrest for impaired driving. A Wisconsin state statute permits such blood draws. The Wisconsin...

The police may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested. This decision involved a pair of cases in which both defendants were arrested and cell phones were seized. In both cases, officers examined electronic data on the...

The Court held that in drunk driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant. After stopping the defendant’s vehicle for speeding and crossing the...

Ryburn v. Huff, 565 U.S. 469 (Jan. 23, 2012)

The Court reversed a Ninth Circuit ruling that officers were not entitled to qualified immunity in a § 1983 action that arose after the officers entered a home without a warrant. When officers responded to a call from a high school, the principal informed them that a student, Vincent Huff, was...

Kentucky v. King, 563 U.S. 452 (May. 16, 2011)

The Court reversed and remanded a decision of the Kentucky Supreme Court and held that the exigent circumstances rule applies when police, by knocking on the door of a residence and announcing their presence, cause the occupants to attempt to destroy evidence. Police officers set up a controlled...

An officer’s entry into a home without a warrant was reasonable under the emergency aid doctrine. Responding to a report of a disturbance, a couple directed officers to a house where a man was "going crazy." A pickup in the driveway had a smashed front, there were damaged fence posts along the...

State v. Romano, 369 N.C. 678 (June 9, 2017)

The court held, in this DWI case, that in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Birchfield v. North Dakota (search incident to arrest doctrine does not justify the warrantless taking of a blood sample; as to the argument that the blood tests at issue were justified based on the...

State v. McCrary, 368 N.C. 571 (Dec. 18, 2015)

In a per curiam opinion, the supreme court affirmed the decision below, State v. McCrary, 237 N.C. App. 48 (2014), to the extent it affirmed the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss. In...

State v. Grice, 367 N.C. 753 (Jan. 23, 2015)

(1) Reversing the court of appeals, the court held that officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment by seizing marijuana plants seen in plain view. After receiving a tip that the defendant was growing marijuana at a specified residence, officers went to the residence to conduct a knock and...

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police received a report of a stolen car and information about its possible location. Officers went to the location, which was part residence and part commercial establishment. A car matching the description of the stolen vehicle was in the back parking lot. As police...

In this Martin County case, the defendant was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, felony serious injury by vehicle and driving while impaired for his driving of a vehicle after consuming prescription medications, crossing into oncoming traffic, hitting two other...

In this impaired driving case the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress where exigent circumstances supported a warrantless blood draw. The defendant tested at .10 on a roadside test, was arrested at 2:48 AM and then was transported to the police department, where he...

Exigent circumstances justified the officers’ warrantless entry into the defendant’s home to arrest him. It was undisputed that the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant for driving while license revoked. They pulled into the defendant’s driveway behind him and activated blue...

In this drug case, the trial court properly denied a motion to suppress where no illegal seizure of the defendant occurred during a knock and talk and where exigent circumstances justified the officers’ warrantless entry into the defendant’s home. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that...

State v. Romano, 247 N.C. App. 212 (Apr. 19, 2016) aff’d, 369 N.C. 678 (Jun 9 2017)

In this DWI case, the court held that the trial court did not err by suppressing blood draw evidence that an officer collected from a nurse who was treating the defendant. The trial court had found that no exigency existed justifying the warrantless search and that G.S. 20-16.2, as applied in...

In this drug case, the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a warrantless search of her residence. According to the court: “The trial court’s findings that the officers observed a broken window, that the front door was unlocked, and...

In this DWI case, the court held that under Missouri v. McNeely (the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant), exigent circumstances justified the warrantless blood...

In this DWI case, the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from blood samples taken at a hospital without a search warrant where probable cause and exigent circumstances supported the warrantless blood draw. Noting the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent...

State v. Miller, 228 N.C. App. 496 (Aug. 6, 2013) rev’d on other grounds, 367 N.C. 702 (Jan 1 2014)

Exigent circumstances—investigation of a possible burglary—supported officers’ warrantless entry into the defendant’s home. The police department received a burglar alarm report concerning a suspected breaking and entering at the defendant’s home. The first arriving officer noticed a broken back...

Probable cause and exigent circumstances supported an officer’s warrantless search of the defendant’s mouth by grabbing him around the throat, pushing him onto the hood of a vehicle, and demanding that he spit out whatever he was trying to swallow. Probable cause to believe that the defendant...

Exigent circumstances existed for an officer to make a warrantless entry into the defendant’s home to ascertain whether someone inside was in need of immediate assistance or under threat of serious injury. The officer was summoned after motorists discovered a young, naked, unattended toddler on...

G.S. 20-139.1(d1) (providing that in order to proceed with a non-consensual blood test without a warrant, there must be probable cause and the officer must have a reasonable belief that a delay in testing would result in dissipation of the person’s blood alcohol content), codifies exigent...

Exigent circumstances justified officers’ entry into a home. The officers were told by an informant told that she bought marijuana at the house. When they approached for a knock and talk, they detected a strong odor of marijuana, and saw the defendant with his upper body partially out of a...

Exigent circumstances supported officers’ warrantless entry into a mobile home to arrest the defendant pursuant to an outstanding warrant. The officers knew that the defendant previously absconded from a probation violation hearing and thus was a flight risk, that defendant had previously...

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