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Tag Archives: search & seizure

Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – FISA – In Camera, Ex Parte Review (access required)

United States v. Sherifi The court’s in camera, ex parte review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications, orders and other materials presented none of the concerns raised by defendants that they contend warrant disclosure of the materials or an adversary hearing. The FISA dockets contain the requisite information, and review of the dockets revealed that proper minimization procedures were established and followed. Any failure to minimize was inadvertent, disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on discovery, and promptly rectified.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Reasonable Suspicion – 30-Day Tag – Low Number (access required)

State v. Burke An officer believed that the number on defendant’s 30-day tag was lower than those being issued at that time. The officer’s belief did not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion needed to make a traffic stop. We reverse the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress.

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Criminal Practice – State’s Appeal – Untimely – ‘Entry’ of Order – Search & Seizure – Suppression Motion (access required)

State v. Oates Editor's Note: The following opinion has been withdrawn by an order of the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, dated July 7, 2011. The trial judge announced that he was granting defendant’s motion to suppress in open court on Dec. 14, 2009, and the state did not give oral notice of appeal. Instead, the state filed notice of appeal on Dec. 30, 2009; however, the trial judge did not enter his written order granting defendant’s motion to suppress until March 22, 2010 – after which the state did not file notice of appeal or ask this court to treat its brief as a petition for writ of certiorari. We must dismiss the state’s appeal because it did not give proper notice of appeal, and this court is without jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Probable Cause – Motel Room – Drug Activity Report – Suspicious Actions & Items (access required)

State v. Biber In response to defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a search of the motel room in which he was staying, the state was only required to show probable cause, not sufficient evidence to convict defendant. A complaint of drug activity in the room by the person who rented the room, drug paraphernalia visible from the open motel room door, an occupant’s rush to the bathroom and a flushing sound before she would come out, and defendant’s insistence that the room was his all contributed to the officers’ reasonable belief that the suspected drugs hidden in the bathroom belonged to defendant. We reverse the Court of Appeals’ award of a new trial.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – DWI – Checkpoint – Motion to Suppress (access required)

State v. House Where defendant’s motion to suppress complied with G.S. § 15A-977(a), the parties do not argue that G.S. § 15A-977(b)(2) applies, and the state failed to present any evidence, the state appeared to concede the factual allegations which supported defendant’s motion to suppress evidence gathered as a result of his stop at a DWI checkpoint.

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U.S. 4th Circuit smacks down flawed searches (access required)

A pair of rare conviction reversals by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on search-and-seizure grounds signal that contrary to the assumptions of many in the defense bar, it’s worthwhile to challenge government evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds, defense attorneys told Lawyers Weekly. However, the reversals shouldn’t be interpreted as an ideological sea change on one of the most conservative federal courts in the nation, attorneys said.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Child Pornography – Deficient Warrant (access required)

U.S. v. Doyle The 4th Circuit reverses defendant's child pornography conviction because evidence seized pursuant to a deficient search warrant should not have come in under the Leon good-faith exception; information provided to the local magistrate did not show when defendant allegedly possessed pictures of nude children and whether the alleged pictures were in fact child pornography under Virginia law.

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Trafficking Indictment – Possession With Intent to Manufacture – Not Lesser Included Offense – Search & Seizure – Warrant (access required)

State v. McCain Defendant was indicted for trafficking by possession of cocaine, but he was convicted of possession with intent to manufacture cocaine. Since possession with intent to manufacture cocaine includes an element - intent to manufacture - that is not an element of trafficking by possession of cocaine, this was error. However, the jury's determination is sufficient to support a conviction of possession of cocaine, which is a lesser included offense of trafficking by possession of cocaine.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Unregistered Motel Guest -Sentencing – Crack Cocaine (access required)

U.S. v. Bullard Drug evidence found in a suitcase belonging to defendant, an unregistered motel guest, need not be suppressed, the 4th Circuit says, even if searching the suitcase went beyond a "protective sweep"; and the 4th Circuit joins its sister circuits and holds that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 does not apply retroactively to allow defendant to be resentenced on a crack cocaine offense.

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