Court of Appeals Upholds Validity of Ex Parte DVPOs

Background. In State v. Byrd, 363 N.C. 214 (2009), the state supreme court concluded that an ex parte domestic violence protective order, or DVPO, was not a “valid protective order” for purposes of the sentencing enhancement under G.S. 50B-4.1(d). (As explained in this prior post about Byrd, the enhancement provides that a felony that also … Read more

Obtaining a Search Warrant after Charges Have Been Brought

Most search warrants are obtained before anyone has been charged with a crime. But sometimes officers will charge a defendant and then decide to obtain a search warrant to seek additional evidence. In such a case, may investigators still obtain a search warrant from a magistrate, or does a magistrate  lose jurisdiction over the case … Read more

Obtaining Medical Records under G.S. 8-53

I’ve received questions from both prosecutors and defense lawyers about whether and how the state can obtain a suspect’s — or a defendant’s — medical records when those records may contain information relevant to a criminal investigation. The most frequently-asked questions are addressed in the scenario below. Take a look, and post a comment if … Read more