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Tag Archives: Constructive Possession

Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Confession – Corpus Delicti Rule – Marijuana Possession (access required)

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 possession) was insufficient to support the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

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

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 possession.

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Criminal Practice – Embezzlement – Corporate Agent or Servant – Constructive Possession (access required)

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 proved that the company had control over defendant’s performance. Thus, the state’s evidence showed that defendant was an agent of the company and not an independent contractor.

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

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.

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Trafficking – Constructive Possession – Seller’s Testimony – Constitutional – Effective Assistance – MAR  (access required)

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 cocaine was also found on defendant’s person.

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Criminal Practice – Marijuana Possession – Constructive Possession – Same Room – Plain View (access required)

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.

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

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. We find no error in defendant’s convictions of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed weapon.

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Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Ownership – First Impression – Defective Indictment – Conspiracy – Restitution (access required)

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’s conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and the trial court’s order of restitution.

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Criminal Practice – Firearms – Constructive Possession – DVPO – Brother’s Vacation House (access required)

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).

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