Suppose a defendant is found responsible in district court for one of the many infractions codified in Chapter 20. Take your pick: speeding, a seat belt violation, jaywalking, improper passing, or one of the many other non-criminal motor vehicle offenses. The defendant wishes to appeal that adjudication. May she appeal the case to superior court?
A short opinion issued recently by the Court of Appeals, State v. J.C., ___ N.C. App. ___ (Sept. 19, 2017), concerns two open questions about appellate review of a trial judge’s expunction decision. How can a party obtain appellate review? And, how can the person who petitions for an expunction make sure that the records of the appellate proceeding remain confidential? The Court’s opinion does not expressly address those issues, but the case provides guidance on both.
No, Justice Ervin didn’t use the words hot mess. But anyone who slogs their way through the tortured procedural swamp that led to State v. Miller, __ N.C. __ (March 18, 2016), is bound to agree that the procedures adopted in 2006 for appeals in DWI cases have created a nearly impenetrable bog for the parties involved. I’m going to do my best here to succinctly explain what happened in Miller. Then I’ll share an idea for freeing litigants and judges from the procedural muck in which they are currently mired.
When a person is convicted and sentenced, the sentence generally starts right away. G.S. 15A-1353(a). The judge can delay the start of the sentence, as discussed in this prior post, but that is the exception to the rule. About the only other thing that can put the brakes on the start of a sentence is … Read more
There are frequently asked questions, and then there are very frequently asked questions. Regarding Justice Reinvestment, there has been no more frequently asked question than this: Can you appeal a CRV? We learned this morning that you cannot. The court of appeals held in State v. Romero that there is no right to appeal from a … Read more
Update: The court of appeals has withdrawn this opinion. I’ve had quite a few questions about the court of appeals’ recent decision in State v. Braswell, a case that imposes new procedural requirements on the state in certain misdemeanor appeals. This post will summarize and assess Braswell and will briefly address the prospects for further … Read more
I’ve written before about the General Assembly’s enactment of G.S. 20-38.7 to prevent defendants from manipulating the procedure for appealing district court convictions to superior court in order to escape enhanced punishment in impaired driving cases based upon prior convictions. G.S. 20-38.7(c) provides that “for any implied‑consent offense that is first tried in district court … Read more