News Roundup

It was a big news week, but I’ll start with the General Assembly. First off, it passed a law, S.L. 2015-31, that requires motor vehicles to have at least one “stop lamp,” or brake light, on each side of the rear of the vehicle. It thus effectively overruled State v. Heien, 214 N.C. App. 515 (2011), which held that G.S. 20-129(g) only requires one stop lamp. Continue reading

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Counting Jail Credit Days

If a defendant is arrested on Monday, detained all week, and sentenced on Friday, how many days of jail credit does he get? Continue reading

How Many Shades of Registration Violations?

Gray is in.  And DMV knows it.    Continue reading

Reducing Charges in Juvenile Court

Many juvenile cases are resolved through admissions (known as guilty pleas in criminal court), often with the prosecutor’s agreement to reduce the charge. Sometimes, the reduced charge is a lesser-included offense of the original offense charged in the petition, such as changing common law robbery to misdemeanor larceny. See State v. White, 142 N.C. App. 201, 204 (2001). But, often, a reduced charge is not a lesser-included offense, like changing sexual battery to simple assault. See State v. Corbett, 196 N.C. App. 508, 511 (2009). The question then becomes: How can the State proceed on a different offense than the one charged in the petition? Can the prosecutor prepare a misdemeanor statement of charges as in criminal court? Or, is a new petition required? Here are the answers. Continue reading

News Roundup

The big news at the General Assembly this week was the introduction of the House budget bill. Recent projections of a budget surplus contributed to a proposal to spend about 6% more than last year, including millions more for the courts and a 2% raise for most state employees. The News and Observer reports here that the AOC is “very pleased” with the House budget. Of course, there’s a long way to go before the budget is final. Continue reading

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When the Trial Court Has the Last Word

Litigants sometimes are surprised by circumstances in which a trial court’s ruling in a case is not capable of review on appeal. The court of appeals recognized one such situation earlier this week in State v. Kiselev, ___ N.C. App. ___ (May 19, 2015). Continue reading

Disposing of a Defendant’s Guns after a Felony Conviction

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided a case about the disposition of a defendant’s guns after the defendant has been convicted of a felony. The case is Henderson v. United States. This post discusses the case and its implications for North Carolina. Continue reading

Sitosky Update: The Latest on Probation Tolling

The continued supervision or imprisonment of hundreds of probationers and inmates is in question in light of State v. Sitosky, __ N.C. App. __, 767 S.E.2d 623 (2014), petition for discretionary review denied, __ N.C. __, 768 S.E.2d 847 (2015), and its interpretation of the probation tolling law. This post summarizes some of the latest developments related to the case. Continue reading

State Supreme Court on State’s Ability to Obtain Review of MAR Rulings

Last month, the Supreme Court of North Carolina decided State v. Stubbs, an important case regarding appellate review of orders granting motions for appropriate relief. Continue reading

News Roundup

In an odd turn of events for the person known as the “champion of the falsely accused,” WRAL reports that Christine Mumma was accused herself this week by the North Carolina State Bar of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. Mumma serves as executive director and legal counsel for the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence. The allegations arise from Mumma’s work to free Joseph Sledge, who spent thirty-six years behind bars for the killing of a mother and her daughter in Bladen County in 1976 before he was exonerated last January. Continue reading

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