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., 10/03/2023
E.g., 10/03/2023

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress heroin discovered following a search of the defendant during a traffic stop. A tactical narcotics officer noticed a Lincoln sedan weaving in and out of heavy traffic at high speeds, nearly causing multiple collisions. The vehicle...

Seizure of cocaine was justified under the “plain feel” doctrine. While searching the defendant the officer “felt a large bulge” in his pocket and immediately knew based on its packing that it was narcotics.

The evidence supported the trial court’s finding that based on an officer’s training and experience, he immediately formed the opinion that a bulge in the defendant’s pants contained a controlled substance when conducting a pat down. The officer was present at the location to execute a search...

Remanding for a determination of whether the officer had probable cause to seize a crack cocaine cookie during a frisk, where the trial court improperly applied a standard of reasonable suspicion to the plain feel doctrine.

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