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Tag Archives: Criminal Practice

Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Oxycodone Conspiracy – Drug Quantity — Calculation (access required)

U.S. v. Bell The 4th Circuit says a trial court erred in sentencing a mother and daughter who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute the mother’s prescription oxycodone pills, because the district court did not adequately explain its methodology for calculating drug quantity and make findings that would permit appellate review of the mother’s 120-month sentence and the daughter’s 72-month sentence for procedural reasonableness.

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Criminal Practice – SBM – Civil Proceeding – Initiation & Notice (access required)

State v. Self Even though satellite-based monitoring (SBM) is a civil regulatory scheme, SBM proceedings are not required to be initiated pursuant to the N.C. Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rules “govern the procedure in the superior and district courts of the State of North Carolina in all actions and proceedings of a civil nature except when a differing procedure is prescribed by statute."

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Criminal Practice – Murder – Evidence – Cell Phone Records – Authentication (access required)

State v. Crawley Even though the records custodian from the telephone company did not personally send the phone records at issue to the police, he testified that he believed the records shown to him at trial to be accurate and that he was familiar with such documents. He testified that the records were kept in the normal course of business and that the documents presented at trial were the same as those normally sent to law enforcement in connection with a case. The witness’s testimony was sufficient to show that the records were, as the state claimed, phone company records. Any question as to the accuracy or reliability of such records was a jury question.

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Criminal Practice – DWI – Driver – Automatism – Prescription Drug (access required)

State v. Clowers Even though the citizen who reported seeing a drunk driver did not identify defendant as the driver, since she stayed at the scene until police arrived, and since no one exited the car, the testimony of the witness and the arresting officers was sufficient to allow the jury to determine that defendant was the drunk driver.

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Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Mitigating Factors – Contradictory Evidence – Not Manifestly Credible (access required)

State v. Mabry All of the testimony regarding defendant’s good character or reputation came from individuals having a close family relationship with defendant or from defendant herself. These sources are not so manifestly credible that the trial court was required to find that defendant has been a person of good character and has a good reputation in her community.

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Criminal Practice – Indictment Amendment – Larceny – Owner’s Identity (access required)

State v. Abbott The larceny indictment against defendant originally alleged that he had stolen tools from a corporation. When the trial court allowed the state to amend the indictment to allege that the tools were stolen from an individual, this was a substantial amendment; as such, the amendment was prohibited by G.S. § 15A-923(e). We vacate defendant’s conviction of larceny by employee.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Armed Robbery – DWI (access required)

State v. Brown Where the arresting officer did not have any information regarding in what direction armed robbery suspects fled the scene of the robbery, and where the officer had no description of a getaway vehicle, the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion that justified pulling over defendant’s car near the scene of the crime four hours after the robbery.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Warrant Application – Leon — Good Faith Exception – Omitted Facts (access required)

U.S. v. McKenzie-Gude Although a search warrant application did not specifically connect defendant to the residence to be searched, police had obtained extensive detail from a woman whose nephew shared defendant’s strong interest in acquiring weapons and explosives, and who confiscated from her nephew’s bedroom chemicals and their safety data sheets, and reported her nephew’s statement that defendant had brought an AK-47 to her home.

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