Can the Fact that Daryl Had a Glock Yesterday Be Used to Prove that He Had an AK-47 Today?

When a defendant is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, may the prosecution introduce, under Rule 404(b), evidence that the defendant previously possessed a different firearm? Courts nationally are divided. The Court of Appeals of North Carolina just ruled in State v. Williams that the answer is no.

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Update on U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Rodriguez v. United States Concerning Extension of Traffic Stops

Last April, the United States Supreme Court in Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015), significantly limited the scope of a traffic stop. The officer in Rodriguez completed a traffic stop for driving on the shoulder of a highway after checking the vehicle registration and driver’s licenses of the driver and passenger, conducting a warrant check, returning all documents, and issuing the driver a warning ticket. The officer then asked the driver for consent to walk his drug dog around the vehicle, but the driver refused to give his consent. Nonetheless, the officer told the driver to turn off the ignition, leave the vehicle, and wait for a second officer. When the second officer arrived, the first officer walked his drug dog around the car, and the dog alerted to the presence of drugs. A search of the vehicle revealed methamphetamine. Seven to eight minutes had elapsed from the time the officer issued the written warning until the dog’s alert.

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On the Horizon: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Another Substitute Analyst Case

In a post here, I wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 131 S. Ct. 2705 (2011), holding that substitute analyst testimony in an impaired driving case violated Crawford. Bullcoming was no great surprise in light of the Court’s prior decision in Melendez-Diaz. However, less than one week after the … Read more