Warrantless Home Entry After Lange v. California

A few weeks ago the United States Supreme Court decided Lange v. California, 594 U.S. ___, ___ S. Ct. ___ (June 23, 2021), holding that the flight of a person suspected of a misdemeanor offense does not categorically justify an officer’s warrantless entry into a home. Today’s post reviews how Lange fits into the landscape of Fourth Amendment cases establishing when an officer may forcibly enter a suspect’s home without a warrant.

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News Roundup

WRAL reports that the owner of a venomous zebra cobra has been charged with dozens of misdemeanors after the snake, which is capable of spitting blinding venom with tremendous accuracy, was roaming loose in a north Raleigh neighborhood in recent weeks.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

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Case Summaries — North Carolina Court of Appeals (July 6, 2021)

This post summarizes published criminal and related decisions released by the North Carolina Court of Appeals on July 6, 2021. Summaries are also posted to Smith’s Case Compendium, here. Continue reading

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New Criminal Provision Prohibiting the Possession of Skimming Devices

The North Carolina legislature recently passed S.L. 2021-68 which amends the existing financial transaction card theft statute to include knowingly possessing, selling, or delivering a skimming device. Continue reading

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News Roundup

Bill Cosby was released from prison this week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that his 2018 prosecution for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand violated due process.  In 2018, Cosby was convicted by a jury and received a prison sentence of three to ten years.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

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Applying the Statute of Limitations to Failure to Appear for an Implied Consent Offense

Nearly 15 years ago, the General Assembly created the misdemeanor offense of failing to appear for two years for an implied consent offense. See S.L. 2006-253 (enacting new G.S. 20-28(a3), effective for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2006). The new provision was proposed by the Governor’s Task Force on Driving While Impaired in order to impose special sanctions for a person who fails to appear in court for this particular kind of motor vehicle offense. Those sanctions include driver’s license revocation for a person convicted of a violation of G.S. 20-28(a3)(2).

In the early years after the statute was enacted, there were many questions about which offenses it applied to. Offenses charged before December 1, 2004 for which the person had already failed to appear for two years before the statute’s effective date? Arguably not, for ex post facto reasons, as Jeff opined here. What about offenses charged a bit later for which the defendant already had failed to appear before December 1, 2006? Perhaps not, given the presumption of prospective application, as I wrote here. More recently questions have arisen about how to calculate the two-year statute of limitations for such an offense. Suppose, for example, a defendant was charged with DWI on January 1, 2017. The defendant failed to appear in court. On June 2, 2021, the State charged the defendant with failure to appear for two years after being charged with an implied consent offense. Does the two-year statute of limitations in G.S. 15-1 bar the prosecution?

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News Roundup

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced a “comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence and other violent crime” ahead of the summer months when major cities often experience increased gun violence.  Among other things, the administration’s press release says that local governments will be able to use American Rescue Plan funds to hire law enforcement officers, prosecute gun traffickers, and invest in new law enforcement equipment and technology.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

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Case Summaries — United States Supreme Court (June 23, 2021)

This post summarizes the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Lange v. California, 594 U.S. ___, ___ S. Ct. ___ (June 23, 2021). This summary will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to present.

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Dispelling Transfer Confusion: 10-Day Appeal Window, Orders for Arrest

My email continues to stay busy with confusion about juvenile cases, including questions about the status of a case during the time for appeal of an order transferring the case to superior court and the use of an indictment to trigger transfer of a juvenile matter to superior court. This blog will address three frequently asked questions (FAQs): (1) which court has jurisdiction over the case during the 10-day period for giving notice of an appeal, (2) what are the restrictions on recordkeeping during that 10-day period or while the superior court considers any appeal, and (3) may an order for arrest be generated when an indictment is returned in a matter that is under juvenile jurisdiction? Continue reading

With Enactment of SB 255, COVID-19 Emergency Directives Come to an End

Earlier today, Chief Justice Paul Newby rescinded the two remaining COVID-19 Emergency Directives. The Chief Justice determined that the enactment of S.L. 2021-47 (Senate Bill 255) on Friday rendered unnecessary Emergency Directive 3, which authorized judicial officials to conduct proceedings that include remote audio and video transmissions and Emergency Directive 5, which permitted verification of pleadings and other documents by affirmation of the subscriber.

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