Analysis of DWI Procedures under Fowler and Palmer

Shea Denning, who is the motor vehicle and DWI expert on the School of Government’s faculty, has read, re-read, and re-re-read State v. Fowler and State v. Palmer, the recent Court of Appeals cases concerning the special procedures for motions to suppress and motions to dismiss in DWI cases. The product of her labors is … Read more

News Roundup

North Carolina has been all over the web recently. The News and Observer’s habitual felon article, which I discussed in a previous post, has made a splash on several of the most-read criminal law blogs — here and here (both links involve some scrolling) — with some of the reaction being positive, and some less … Read more


Post-Conviction DNA Testing Heats Up

Editor’s note: A previous post concerning a United States Supreme Court case about post-conviction DNA testing appears here. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of calls about requests for post-conviction DNA testing. Since there seems to be a bit of confusion about how these requests should be made and handled, I thought it might be … Read more

Petitions to Terminate Sex Offender Registration (Part II)

The other day I posted my thoughts about the “Jacob Wetterling” provision in G.S. 14-208.12A.  While that provision raises what I think are the most difficult questions related to petitions to terminate sex offender registration, they are by no means the only questions. Here are some others (along with my best attempt to answer them, … Read more


DWI Appeal Procedures: Fowler and Palmer

Two statutes enacted as part of the Motor Vehicle Driver Protection Act of 2006, G.S. 20-38.6 and 20-38.7, significantly altered district court procedures for implied consent offenses committed on or after December 1, 2006.   G.S. 20-38.6(a) requires that motions to suppress evidence or dismiss charges in such cases be made pre-trial, except for motions to … Read more

Petitions to Terminate Sex Offender Registration

Under G.S. 14-208.12A, registered sex offenders who are not required to register for life can petition the superior court to terminate the registration requirement after 10 years. (The requirement to petition for deregistration came into being in 2006; before then, 10-year registrations terminated automatically after the requisite time had passed.) North Carolina’s sex offender registry … Read more

GPS Tracking for Domestic Violence Offenders?

An interesting article in the New York Times, available here, talks about the increasing use of GPS tracking in domestic violence cases, either as a condition of pretrial release or as part of a probationary sentence.  The story indicates that twelve states have passed legislation designed to enable the use of GPS in such cases.  … Read more

Magistrates Appointing Counsel?

Last term, the United States Supreme Court decided Rothgery v. Gillespie County, available here.  As most folks likely know, before Rothgery, North Carolina law held that a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel “attached” when the defendant had his first appearance before a district court judge.  After Rothgery, it’s clear that the right attaches at … Read more

Breathalyzer Source Code

Once again, my interest in criminal law and my interest in technology have come together in a brewing legal controversy.  The issue is whether a DWI defendant who has submitted to a breath test for alcohol has a right to access the “source code” of the breath analysis machine.  The Minnesota Supreme Court, in State … Read more