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NC Criminal Law

Alex Phipps on Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

This post summarizes the published criminal opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals released on July 5, 2022. This summary will be added to Smith’s Criminal Case Compendium, a free and searchable database of case summaries from 2008 to the present.

(1) Trial court did not err in failing to require jury to be unanimous about which act constituted indecent liberties with a child; (2) Mistake...

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There is no double jeopardy bar to a second trial when a charge is dismissed because an indictment or other criminal pleading is fatally defective.

Evidence of the victim’s character may be introduced in two circumstances: First, the defendant may introduce evidence of a “pertinent trait” of the victim’s character. G.S. 8C-404(a)(2). The most common example is evidence of the victim’s violent character, offered when the defendant is claiming self-defense. Second, in homicide cases, the state may offer evidence of the victim’s character trait for “peacefulness” to rebut a claim by the defense that the victim was the first aggressor.

The court may take judicial notice of adjudicative facts that are not subject to any reasonable dispute if the facts are common knowledge in the jurisdiction or can be easily determined by reference to reliable sources.

A defendant may plead guilty or not guilty, or, with the consent of the prosecutor and judge, may plead “no contest.” See G.S. 15A-1011(a), (b).

Two or more offenses may be joined for trial when the offenses are based on the same act or transaction or on a series of acts or transactions connected together or constituting parts of a single scheme or plan. See G.S. 15A-926(a).