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.

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E.g., 11/30/2022
E.g., 11/30/2022

The defendant was convicted of obtaining property by false pretenses for selling boxes purportedly containing iPhones that contained only lug nuts. The defendant argued that the sentence of 36 months supervised probation was erroneous because the trial judge imposed a community punishment...

(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 remanded for correction of two clerical errors. The first error was that the trial court inadvertently checked the box on the Judgment form indicating that it made no written findings because the sentence imposed was within the presumptive range but in fact the trial court sentenced...

Finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by revoking the defendant’s probation, the court remanded for correction of a clerical error. Specifically, the trial court checked the wrong box on the judgment form indicating the basis for the probation revocation.

The court remanded to the trial court to correct a clerical error in a written order. After the jury convicted the defendant of first-degree felony-murder, armed robbery, and felony possession of a firearm, the trial court rendered an oral ruling arresting judgment on the armed robbery...

State v. Thompson, ___ N.C. App. ___, 809 S.E.2d 340 (Jan. 2, 2018) vacated on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, 822 S.E.2d 616 (Feb 1 2019)

Where the record was inconsistent and unclear as to whether the defendant pled guilty to felony possession of marijuana, the court vacated a judgment for that offense and remanded, directing the trial court to “take the necessary steps to resolve the discrepancy between the transcript of plea...

Over a dissent, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that there was a clerical error in the judgment. Although the trial court stated after the jury returned the verdict that it was “going to arrest judgment” on the trafficking by delivery charge, the trial court did not pronounce the...

The defendant was properly required to register as a sex offender and submit to SBM. Although the trial court mistakenly found that the defendant had been convicted of an offense against a minor, the error was clerical where other findings were made that would require the defendant to register...

Where a plea agreement contemplated that the defendant would be sentenced to community punishment and the trial court indicated that it was so sentencing the defendant, the court remanded for correction of a clerical error in the judgment stating that the sentence was an intermediate one.

The trial court made clerical errors in sentencing. It made a clerical error when it stated that it was arresting judgment on convictions vacated by the court of appeals; in context it was clear that the trial court meant to state that it was vacating those convictions. The trial court also...

Where the judgment form mistakenly contained a reference to “Assault with a Deadly Weapon,” a charge on which the defendant was acquitted, but where the error did not affect the sentence imposed, the court remanded for correction of this clerical error. The court rejected the defendant’s...

Where the trial court miscalculated the defendant’s prior record level but where a correction in points would not change the defendant’s sentence, the court treated the error as clerical and remanded for correction. A dissenting judge would have concluded that the error was judicial not clerical...

The court remanded for correction of a clerical error. Specifically, the trial court found at the sentencing hearing that the defendant was a PRL IV offender and ordered him to pay $6,841.50 in attorney’s fees. However, the judgment incorrectly listed him at PRL II and stated that the defendant...

The court remanded for correction of a clerical error where the defendant was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon but the trial court entered judgment for AWDWIK.

Where the trial court determined that the defendant had 16 prior record points and was a prior record level V but the judgment indicated that he had 5 prior record points and was a prior record level III, the entries on the judgment were clerical errors.

A clerical error occurred where the trial court found that it could revoke the defendant’s probation under the Justice Reinvestment Act because the defendant was convicted of another criminal offense while on probation but checked the box on the form indicating that the revocation was based on...

A clerical error occurred in a Fair Sentencing Act case when the trial court found an aggravating factor and went on to sentence the defendant above the presumptive range but failed to check the box on the judgment indicating that the aggravating factor existed. The court remanded for correction...

The court remanded for correction of a clerical error where the trial court announced a fine of $100 but the judgment incorrectly reflected a $500 fine.

State v. Rico, 218 N.C. App. 109 (Jan. 17, 2012) rev’d on other grounds, 366 N.C. 327 (Dec 14 2012)

Where the trial judge erroneously sentenced the defendant to an aggravated term without finding that an aggravating factor existed and that an aggravated sentence was appropriate, a second judge erroneously treated this as a clerical that could be corrected simply by amending the judgment.

In dicta, the court noted that the trial judge was entitled to modify her ruling on a suppression motion because court was still in session.

State v. Ellison, 213 N.C. App. 300 (July 19, 2011) aff'd on other grounds, 366 N.C. 439 (Mar 8 2013)

The court remanded to the trial court for correction of a clerical error in the judgment so that the judgment would reflect the offense the defendant was convicted of committing (trafficking by transportation versus trafficking by delivery).

In a case in which the defendant was sentenced as a Class C habitual felon, the court remanded for correction of a clerical error regarding the felony class of the underlying felony.

State v. Moore, 209 N.C. App. 551 (Feb. 15, 2011) rev’d on other grounds, 365 N.C. 283 (Oct 7 2011)

Trial judge’s failure to mark the appropriate box in the judgment indicating that the sentence was in the presumptive range was a clerical error.

Listing the victim on the restitution worksheet as an “aggrieved party” was a clerical error.

The trial court committed a clerical error when, in a written order revoking probation, it found that the conditions violated and the facts of each violation were set forth in a violation report dated October 20, 2008, which was the date of a probation violation hearing, not a violation report...

On the judicial findings and order for sex offender form, the trial court erroneously indicated that the defendant had been convicted of an offense against a minor under G.S. 14-208.6(1i) when in fact he was convicted of a sexually violent offense under G.S. 14-208.6(5). The court remanded for...

The court treated as a clerical error the trial court’s mistake on the judgment designating an offense as Class G felony when it in fact was a Class H felony. The court remanded for correction of the clerical error.

State v. May, 207 N.C. App. 260 (Sept. 21, 2010)

When the trial court intended to check one box on AOC-CR-615 (judicial findings and order for sex offenders) but another box was marked on the form signed by the judge, this was a clerical error that could be corrected on remand.

The inclusion of an incorrect file number on the caption of a transcript of plea was a clerical error where the plea was taken in compliance with G.S. 15A-1022 and the body of the form referenced the correct file number.

Inadvertent listing of the wrong criminal action number on the judgment was a clerical error.

The trial court’s mistake of ordering SMB for a period of ten years (instead of lifetime registration) after finding that the defendant was a recidivist was not a clerical error. 

The trial judge committed a clerical error when he entered judgment for a violation of G.S. 14-34.1(a), the Class E version of discharging a firearm into occupied property. The record showed that, based on the defendant’s prior record level, the judge’s sentence reflected a decision to sentence...

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