NC Criminal Law

Phil Dixon on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

This post summarizes published criminal law and related cases released by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals during May 2024. Cases of potential interest to state practitioners are summarized monthly. Previous summaries of Fourth Circuit cases are available here.

Any constitutional right limiting law enforcement’s involvement in a repossession...

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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).

In district court, jeopardy attaches once the court begins to hear evidence, which occurs when the first witness is sworn. In superior court, jeopardy attaches once the jury is sworn and impaneled.

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.

An indigent defendant who has been formally charged has a right to counsel at a pretrial lineup or other identification procedure at which defendant’s presence is required.

An information is an accusation drafted by the prosecutor and filed in superior court, charging one or more criminal offenses. An information may be filed only if the defendant waives indictment.