Stick to the Plan (er, Policy)

Before December 1, 2006, GS 20-16.3A set forth requirements governing impaired driving checkpoints but not other types of checking stations and roadblocks.  While non-DWI checking stations and roadblocks had to satisfy the strictures of the state and federal constitution, no specific statutory procedures governed their establishment and use.  The Motor Vehicle Driver Protection Act of … Read more

News Roundup

Big news on the high court: Justice David Souter, who famously said that he had the world’s best job in the world’s worst city, is reportedly retiring at the end of the term in June.  The New York Times story is here.  Souter was appointed by the first President Bush on the assumption that he … Read more

Kansas v. Ventris and the Sixth Amendment

The Supreme Court’s latest criminal law decision is Kansas v. Ventris, available here.  The basic holding is that a statement obtained in violation of a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel may be admitted for impeachment purposes, so long as the statement was voluntary. In brief, the defendant in Ventris was charged with murder and … Read more

I Gant Believe I’m Posting about This Case Again!

OK, one more post about Arizona v. Gant, which I’ve previously discussed here and here. First, School of Government faculty member Bob Farb has written a short paper about Gant that summarizes the decision and its consequences.  You can find the paper here. Second, I’ve been pondering one possible implication of Gant that I haven’t … Read more

Juveniles and Prior Record Level

I am occasionally asked about the adult sentencing consequences of a defendant’s juvenile history. The first-order answer is easy: juvenile adjudications never count toward felony prior record level or misdemeanor prior conviction level. This is true of all juvenile adjudications, even those for acts that would be Class A – E felonies if committed by … Read more


Do You Know How Fast You Were Driving?

Recently, I blogged about limitations on a judge’s authority to enter a disposition of prayer for judgment continued in speeding cases depending upon the speeding charge. (You can read that post here.) The recent discussion regarding judgments in speeding cases begs the question of why specific speeds are part of the adjudication in the first … Read more

Gant, “Retroactivity,” and Retroactivity

The fallout from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Arizona v. Gant, see my initial post here, has been fast and furious.  Most questions I’ve received have been about how it applies to existing and past cases, not to future searches.  Here are a couple of common questions and answers. 1. Does Gant apply to … Read more

Arizona v. Gant and Searches Incident to Arrest

The Supreme Court decided Arizona v. Gant yesterday. The opinion is available here, and a news article about the case is here. It’s a pretty significant Fourth Amendment case, so let’s unpack it a little bit, and please excuse the long post. When an officer lawfully arrests a suspect, the officer may search the suspect … Read more