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Constructive Possession

Aug 9, 2012

Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Confession – Corpus Delicti Rule – Marijuana Possession

State v. Cox In a car with a driver and three passengers, defendant was seated in the front passenger seat. The driver ran when police arrived, and a gun was found 10 or 12 feet from the car, along the driver’s flight path. Defendant’s mere statement that he owned the gun (after police threatened to charge all three passengers – including defendant’s younger brother – with posse[...]

Jul 11, 2012

Criminal Practice – Drug Trafficking by Possession – Lab Testing – Combined Samples – Amount – Constructive Possession – Maintaining a Dwelling

State v. Huerta The police seized a block of what appeared to be cocaine and two bags that contained small baggies of white powder. When testing the powder from each bag, the SBI combined the contents of the baggies before testing the substance. It was up to the jury to decide whether defendant possessed enough cocaine to be convicted of trafficking in more than 400 grams of cocaine by po[...]

Jun 18, 2012

Criminal Practice – Drug & Firearm Possession – Constructive Possession – Room in Mother’s House

State v. Bradshaw The state presented sufficient evidence to go to the jury on the question of whether defendant had constructive possession of cocaine and a firearm found in his mother’s house in a room which contained mail addressed to him and other items that apparently belonged to him.

Apr 19, 2012

Criminal Practice – Embezzlement – Corporate Agent or Servant – Constructive Possession

State v. Smalley The state’s evidence showed that defendant had full access to Manus Contracting, Inc.’s checking accounts, that defendant “could write checks on her own,” and defendant “would delegate the funds” of the company. Thus, the state presented sufficient evidence that defendant had the authority to act on behalf of the company. Witness Chris Manus’ testimony prove[...]

Feb 10, 2012

Criminal Practice – Extortion – Entitlement – Threats of Violence – First Impression — Evidence – New Trial – Possession of Stolen Goods – Constructive Possession

State v. Privette Even if defendant was innocent of the charges for which he was jailed, he could still commit extortion by threatening to assault or kill the guilty party if he did not turn himself in. Nevertheless, evidence of hypothetical violence (what defendant said he would do to his wife if she were a man) should not have been admitted.

Dec 22, 2011

Criminal Practice – Cocaine Trafficking – Constructive Possession – Seller’s Testimony – Constitutional – Effective Assistance – MAR 

State v. Johnson As to the trafficking in cocaine by possession charge against defendant, the state showed that defendant had constructive possession of the cocaine found in the vehicle in which defendant was a passenger: a co-occupant of the vehicle testified that the cocaine belonged to defendant, the cocaine was found in the vehicle “where [defendant]’s feet would have been,” and[...]

Dec 14, 2011

Criminal Practice – Marijuana Possession – Constructive Possession – Same Room – Plain View

State v. Slaughter In his dissent, Judge Hunter noted that the state presented evidence of defendant’s presence - along with two other people — in a room in which contraband was in plain view, but neither evidence of defendant’s proximity to the contraband nor evidence that he had the intent and capability to maintain control and dominion over it.

Aug 8, 2011

Criminal Practice – Sentencing — Habitual Felon – Possession of a Firearm by a Felon – Underlying Conviction – Constructive Possession – Search & Seizure

State v. Best Defendant was convicted of felonious breaking and entering in 1988. Later, he was found in possession of a firearm. The 1988 B&E conviction can be used both (1) as the underlying felony in convicting defendant of possession of a firearm by a felon and (2) to calculate defendant’s prior record level and thus lengthen his sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon. [...]

Jul 8, 2011

Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Ownership – First Impression – Defective Indictment – Conspiracy – Restitution

State v. Billinger Although we have found no N.C. appellate decision directly on point, in accord with other jurisdictions, we find that evidence of defendant’s ownership of a sawed-off shotgun is sufficient to show his constructive possession of the weapon. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of possession of a weapon of mass death and destruction. We vacate both defendant�[...]

Jun 29, 2011

Criminal Practice – Firearms – Constructive Possession – DVPO – Brother’s Vacation House

State v. Souther Where defendant lived alone in his brother’s vacation home for nine months, he was in constructive possession of the three guns there, two of which were behind the front door. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of possession of a firearm in violation of a domestic violence protective order (DVPO).

May 20, 2011

Criminal Practice – Marijuana Possession – Constructive Possession – Same Room – Plain View

State v. Slaughter Police discovered defendant and two other men in a 150-square-foot room surrounded by bags of marijuana, marijuana residue, stacks of cash, bags of cash, handguns, blunts, rolling papers, a grinder and packaging paraphernalia. Many of these items were in plain view of the officers when they entered the room, and almost all of the officers testified that a strong smell o[...]

Sep 9, 2010

Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Constructive Possession – Suspected Contraband – Motel Room

State v. Biber. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-0872, 21 pp.) (Linda M. McGee, J.) (Sanford L. Steelman Jr., J., dissenting) Appealed from Buncombe County Superior Court. (Zoro J. Guice Jr., J.) N.C.App. Holding: Where the trial court found that defendant did not have standing to challenge the search of a motel room he had been found […]

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