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., 10/22/2021
E.g., 10/22/2021

The court reversed a unanimous, unpublished decision of the Court of Appeals and held, in this drug case, that the State presented sufficient evidence of constructive possession of marijuana. While engaged in marijuana eradication operations by helicopter, officers saw marijuana plants growing...

State v. Lindsey, 366 N.C. 325 (Dec. 14, 2012)

For the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion below, the court reversed State v. Lindsey, 219 N.C. App. 249 (Mar. 6, 2012). In the opinion below the court of appeals held—over a dissent—that there was insufficient evidence of constructive possession. After the defendant fled from his...

Affirming an unpublished opinion below, the court held that the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss charges of trafficking by possession and possession of a firearm by a felon. The State presented sufficient evidence to support the jury’s determination that the...

For the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion below, the court reversed a decision by the court of appeals in State v. Slaughter, 212 N.C. App. 59 (May 17, 2011). The court of appeals...

State v. Miller, 363 N.C. 96 (Mar. 20, 2009)

There was sufficient evidence that the defendant constructively possessed cocaine. Two factors frequently considered in analyzing constructive possession are the defendant’s proximity to the drugs and indicia of the defendant’s control over the place where the drugs are found. The court found...

The defendant in this case previously appealed his convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon, trafficking in heroin, PWISD cocaine, and attaining habitual felon status. The Court of Appeals found no error in State v. Wynn, 264 N.C. App. 250 (2019) (...

In this drug trafficking by possession and transportation case, the defendant fled an attempted traffic stop, was chased by officers for 3-5 miles until the defendant crashed his car, and then was pursued on foot. When the defendant was apprehended, he was searched and officers recovered a...

In this possession of methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm case, the trial court did not err by instructing the jury that the defendant’s status as the driver of a stopped vehicle was sufficient to support an inference that he constructively possessed both methamphetamine and a...

State v. Royster, ___ N.C. App. ___, 822 S.E.2d 489 (Dec. 4, 2018) aff’d by an equally divided court, ___ N.C. ___, 834 S.E.2d 388 (Nov 1 2019)

In this drug trafficking case, the court held, over a dissent, that the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant knowingly possessed cocaine found in a black box in a wooded area approximately 18 hours after the defendant allegedly produced the same box in exchange for his...

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss charges of possession of stolen goods (a debit card) and possession of marijuana. The State presented substantial evidence establishing constructive possession of both the items. The items were found in close proximity to...

The evidence was sufficient to support the defendant’s conviction of trafficking in cocaine by possession. At issue was whether the defendant constructively possessed the cocaine, found in the drawer of a bedroom dresser. Among other things, the defendant lived with Cunningham at the home. The...

In this possession of marijuana paraphernalia case, the State presented sufficient evidence to establish that the defendant constructively possessed a marijuana pipe found in a crashed vehicle. Although the defendant did not have exclusive possession of the vehicle, sufficient incriminating...

In this drug case, there was insufficient evidence of constructive possession. Officers responded to a report of a breaking and entering at a residence. They heard a commotion inside and noticed smoke coming from the house. Two men, Robert McEntire and the defendant, left through the front door...

(1) Because there was sufficient evidence that the defendant possessed drug paraphernalia, the trial court did not err by denying his motion to dismiss. The paraphernalia was found in plain view in a common living area of a home over which the defendant exercised nonexclusive control. The court...

The court reversed the defendant’s conviction for possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine, concluding that the State failed to present substantial evidence of constructive possession. The case arose out of a controlled drug buy. However the State’s evidence showed that “at...

In a possession of cocaine case, the evidence was sufficient to prove that the defendant constructively possessed cocaine. The drugs were found on the ground near the rear driver’s side of the defendant’s car after an officer had struggled with the defendant. Among other things, video from the...

The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant constructively possessed the methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Agreeing with the defendant that the evidence tended to show that methamphetamine found in a handbag belonged to the defendant’s accomplice, the court found there was...

(1) In a trafficking by possession case, there was sufficient evidence of constructive possession. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State’s evidence showed only “mere proximity” to the drugs. Among other things, the defendant hid from the agents when they entered the...

The evidence was sufficient to support a charge of trafficking in cocaine by possession. A detective set up a cocaine sale. The defendant and an individual named Blanco arrived at the location and both came over to the detective to look at the money. The defendant and Blanco left together, with...

There was sufficient evidence that the defendant had constructive possession of heroin found in an apartment that was not owned or rented by him. Evidence that the defendant was using the apartment included that he had a key to the apartment on his key ring, his clothing was found in the bedroom...

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine where there was sufficient evidence of constructive possession. Because the defendant did not have exclusive possession of the bedroom where the drugs were...

In this drug trafficking case the court held that there was sufficient evidence to support a finding of constructive possession of cocaine. Police had previously received a tip that drug sales were occurring at the home where the drugs were found; police later received similar information in...

In a trafficking by possession case, the evidence was sufficient to show constructive possession. After receiving a phone call from an individual named Shaw requesting cocaine, the defendant contacted a third person, Armstrong, to obtain the drugs. The defendant picked up Armstrong in a truck...

In a trafficking case, the evidence was sufficient to show that the defendant constructively possessed cocaine found in a vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger. Another occupant in the vehicle testified that the cocaine belonged to the defendant, the cocaine was found in the vehicle “...

There was sufficient evidence of constructive possession of drugs found in a house. The defendant lived at and owned a possessory interest in the house; he shared the master bedroom where the majority of the marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found; he was in the living space adjoining the...

There was sufficient evidence of constructive possession to sustain a conviction for possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana. The drugs were found in a vehicle being transported by a car carrier driven by the defendant. The court determined that based on the defendant’s power...

There was insufficient evidence that the defendant had constructive possession of bags of marijuana found in a vehicle. An officer found a vehicle that had failed to stop on his command in the middle of a nearby street with the engine running. The driver and passengers had fled. Officers...

There was sufficient evidence of constructive possession even though the defendant did not have exclusive control of the residence where the controlled substances were found. The defendant admitted that he resided there, officers found luggage, mail, and a cellular telephone connected to the...

There was insufficient evidence that the defendant constructively possessed the controlled substances at issue. The defendant did not have exclusive possession of the premises where the drugs were found; evidence showed only that the defendant was present, with others, in the room where the...

There was insufficient evidence that the defendant constructively possessed cocaine and drug paraphernalia. When officers announced their presence at a residence to be searched pursuant to a warrant, the defendant exited through a back door and was detained on the ground; crack cocaine was found...

There was sufficient evidence that the defendant constructively possessed controlled substances found in a motorcycle carry bag even though the defendant did not own the motorcycle. 

There was sufficient evidence of constructive possession of cocaine for purposes of charges of trafficking by possession, possession with intent, and possession of paraphernalia.

There was sufficient evidence to show that the defendant knowingly possessed marijuana in a case where the defendant was convicted of trafficking in marijuana and conspiracy to traffic by possession. Defendant signed for and collected a UPS package containing 44.1 pounds of marijuana. About a...

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