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Tag Archives: Criminal Practice

Criminal Practice – Probation Violation – Intake Process – Leaving Early (access required)

State v. Brown Defendant argues that, because he walked out of the probation office before probation officials finished processing him and before they had a chance to provide him with a "written statement of [his probation] conditions," he should not be held accountable for violating the conditions of probation by returning to Virginia before his probation transfer to that state was completed.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Brady & Discovery – SBI Lab Procedures (access required)

State v. Allen Since there was other evidence that the victim was bleeding in the vaginal region, and since the state is not required to reveal exculpatory information during plea negotiations, defendant’s constitutional rights were not violated when the state initially failed to reveal a confirmation test’s negative results for blood on the victim’s underpants and sleepers.

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Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Guidelines Error – Murder Cross-Reference (access required)

U.S. v. Horton The 4th Circuit affirms a defendant’s conviction for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924, but vacates his life sentence because the district court erred in applying the murder cross-reference in the federal sentencing guidelines and in treating as relevant conduct a murder that occurred as part of an unrelated and uncharged offense arising from a fatal shooting during a home invasion.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – DWI – Reasonable Suspicion – Wide Turn (access required)

State v. Osterhoudt A state trooper did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when the trooper stopped defendant for crossing a double yellow line while making a right turn. Although defendant did not – as the trooper mistakenly thought – violate G.S. § 20-146(a), he did violate G.S. §§ 20-146(d) and 20-153(a).

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Assistance of Counsel – Pro Se Defendant – Inadequate Inquiry – Sentencing (access required)

State v. Frederick Before defendant represented himself in a hearing on his motion to suppress evidence, as to possible sentences, the trial judge only warned defendant that he could go to prison for “a long, long time” and that a conviction would result in “a mandatory active prison sentence.”

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Criminal Practice – Habeas Corpus – Sentencing – Prior Conviction – 2010 Ruling – Not Retroactive (access required)

U.S. v. Powell The 4th Circuit denies post-conviction relief for a defendant’s 240-month sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, enhanced due to defendant’s prior North Carolina drug conviction; the rule defendant advances from a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case is not retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review, and defendant’s § 2255 motion is untimely.

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Criminal Practice – DNA Search — ‘Cold Hit’ — Good Faith (access required)

U.S. v. Davis Police did not violate defendant’s rights when they collected his bloodstained clothing from a hospital four years earlier during investigation of defendant as a gunshot victim and his arrest on marijuana charges, but subsequent testing of the bloodstain for defendant’s DNA in connection with a later murder investigation in which defendant was never charged, did violate defendant’s rights.

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Criminal Practice – Indecent Liberties & Sexual Offense – Evidence – ‘Fictional’ Writings – Adult Rape – Unadmitted Psychological Evaluation (access required)

State v. Davis Defendant’s writings, which he characterized as fictional, described nonconsensual anal sex with an adult woman. This encounter, even if true, was not sufficiently similar to the acts of which defendant was accused – anally penetrating his young son – to be admissible.

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