Court OKs Measuring Combined Bags in Drug Cases

In State v. Huerta, the court of appeals recently reaffirmed its controlled substance “combination decisions.” Here’s what happened. Huerta was convicted of, among other things, trafficking by possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine. During a search of Huerta’s house, officers found three caches of what turned out to be cocaine: (1) one kilogram-sized … Read more

Visual Identification of Drugs Takes Another Hit

Update: On February 16, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in State v. Davis, in which law enforcement officers were allowed to offer lay testimony without objection that the substance the defendant sold them was crack cocaine. In a footnote, the Davis panel stated that Llamas-Hernandez did not overrule Freeman as to … Read more

I See Cocaine

Can a lay witness testify that she could tell just by looking at a substance that it was, in fact, a controlled substance? (Let’s assume the witness has extensive dealings with drugs and therefore a basis of personal knowledge, and leave aside the credibility issues that may arise if she has been an enthusiastic consumer … Read more