Counting Joined Offenses for Prior Record Points

Before Structured Sentencing we had Fair Sentencing. Under Fair Sentencing, there was no such thing as “prior record level,” but a prior conviction could qualify as an aggravating factor, exposing a person to a longer sentence. G.S. 15A-1340.4(a)(1)(o) (1988). However, the law included an exception for any crime joinable with the crime for which the … Read more

Court of Appeals Rules on Prior Convictions from New Jersey

Last month, the court of appeals decided State v. Hogan, __ N.C. App. __, 758 S.E.2d 465 (2014), a case about the use of a defendant’s prior convictions from New Jersey in determining the defendant’s prior record level. It’s an interesting case and one that has implications for the use of such convictions in the … Read more

Court of Appeals Strictly Limits Scope of Traffic Stops

Yesterday, the court of appeals decided a very important traffic stop case. Its ruling strictly limits officers to pursuing the original justification for a traffic stop, and prohibits officers from extending the stop even briefly for most other investigative activity. This is an area of the law that has been muddled in North Carolina, and … Read more

The Community Caretaking Exception to the Warrant Requirement

The court of appeals recently expanded the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement, entering a national controversy over the proper scope of the doctrine. This post explains the exception and the disagreement about its proper application. Background: United States Supreme Court. The doctrine was first recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Cady … Read more