In some states, when an officer conducts an investigative stop, the person stopped is legally required to identify himself or herself. For example, Utah Code § 77-7-15 provides that an officer may “may demand the individual’s name, address, date of birth, and an explanation of the individual’s actions.” Stop and identify statutes were generally deemed constitutional in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 542 U.S. 177 (2004), but North Carolina has never adopted one. Did a recent decision by the Court of Appeals turn North Carolina into a “stop and identify” state anyhow?
Officers are allowed to misrepresent their identities in the course of their investigations: they may pose as drug buyers, or prostitutes, or members of an organized crime syndicate. Is the same thing true online? In other words, may an officer claim to be someone else in order to “friend” a suspect on social media and thereby gain access to whatever information the suspect has posted? The answer isn’t clear yet, but I would guess that courts ultimately will say yes.
In State v. Friend, ___ N.C. App. ___, 724 S.E.2d 85 (2012), the Court of Appeals addressed the district court’s authority when, after the court refuses to allow a continuance, the State takes a voluntary dismissal and subsequently refiles the case. In Friend, the State voluntarily dismissed an impaired driving charge after the district court … Read more
Jeff wrote here about State v. Fields, ___ N.C. App. ___ (March 6, 2012), a case in which the officer’s observation of the defendant’s vehicle as moving within its lane “like a ball bouncing in a small room” provided reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop that culminated in an impaired driving charge. Another recent court … Read more