NC Criminal Law

Alex Phipps on Thursday, April 18th, 2024

This post summarizes the published criminal opinions from the North Carolina Court of Appeals released on April 16, 2024. These summaries will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to the present.

Odor of marijuana plus a cover scent provided adequate probable cause to search vehicle.


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The use of the conjunctive “and” in an indictment charging two theories by which offense may be committed does not require the state to prove both theories.

The core purpose of the Rules of Evidence is to achieve fairness, efficiency, and justice by ensuring that only relevant and reliable evidence is considered by the finder of fact. G.S. 8C-102(a).

A misdemeanor statement of charges is a criminal pleading prepared by the prosecutor, charging a misdemeanor. A statement of charges is a type of pleading, but is not a form of process, and cannot be used to initiate a prosecution and compel the defendant to appear. See G.S. 15A-922(b)(1).

A statement of charges, criminal summons, arrest warrant, citation or magistrate’s order may be amended at any time before or after final judgment as long as the amendment does not change the nature of the offense charged. G.S. 15A-922(f).

The court is not bound by the rules of evidence (except for rules on privilege) when deciding whether challenged evidence is admissible.