State v. Parham, 2022 NCCOA 584 (N.C. App. 2022) (unpublished) Holding: Signed authorization of a checkpoint by a supervising officer prior to its initiation is irrelevant as long as the supervising officer gives sufficient verbal instruction on how the checkpoint is to be conducted. Practice tips: (1) focus cross-examination on the specific instructions (verbal or written) being given by the supervisory officer prior to the checkpoint commencing; (2) sequester officers when challenging a checkpoint case.


State v. Abernathy, 2022 NCCOA 607 (N.C. App. 2022) (unpublished) Holding: Reasonable suspicion exists to stop a driver travelling under the speed limit in the left lane for a prolonged period causing other vehicles on the highway to pass in the right lane.

State v. Barstow, 2022 NCCOA 368 (N.C. App 2022) (unpublished) Holding: An officer dispatched to investigate a domestic dispute has reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle matching the color, make, and model of the one connected to the domestic dispute leaving the subdivision where the domestic dispute occurred.

State v. Bolick, 2022 NCCOA 875 (N.C. App 2022) (unpublished) Holding: Reasonable suspicion to stop exists based on an anonymous tip where the 911 caller has face-to-face interaction with the Defendant, smells an odor of alcohol, was tailgated by Defendant, gave the make, model, and license plate of Defendant’s vehicle, and told the dispatcher which direction the vehicle was travelling. Practice tip: The Court goes through a lengthy analysis of traffic stops based on an anonymous tip. If you have an anonymous tip case be prepared to distinguish Bolick from your case.

State v. Duncan, 2023 NCCOA 5 (N.C. App. 2023) Holding: Reasonable suspicions exists if an officer believes that a driver has a medically cancelled license.

State v. Dyer, 2022 NCCOA 880 (N.C. App. 2022) (unpublished) Holding: No reasonable suspicion exists when a stop is based on Defendant’s failure to use a turn signal if no other vehicle will be affected by Defendant’s turn.


State v. Lewis, 2022 NCCOA 887 (N.C. App. 2022) (unpublished) Holding: Based on the plain language of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 8C-1, Rule 702(a1)(2), an officer who does not hold a current certification as a drug recognition expert (DRE) cannot testify that Defendant was under the influence of one or more impairing substances, or the drug category of such impairing substances. [The trial court erred in allowing such testimony, but the Court of Appeals found in this case the error was not prejudicial.] Practice tip: With the rise of ARIDE officers don’t let the state get around the rigid requirements of Rule 702. The opinion is either lay or expert opinion and lay opinion is not allowed in this arena.


State v. Dunn, 2022 NCCOA 818 (N.C. App. 2022) (unpublished) Holding: Despite erroneous admission of statements into evidence regarding Defendant’s refusal to answer questions after being advised of his Miranda rights, the error was harmless.


State v. Bobbitt, No. COA22-510 (N.C. App. 2023) (unpublished) Holding: Medical reports or records created for treatment purposes are not testimonial in nature and as such do not implicate the requirements of the Confrontation Clause.

State v. Cannon, No. COA22-572 (N.C. App. 2023) Facts: Defendant was involved in a head on collision with another vehicle killing the driver. Investigating officers found beer cans and an aerosol can of “ultra Duster” in Defendant’s vehicle. Officers noticed an odor of alcohol on Defendant, slurred speech and glassy eyes. About two hours after the accident, Defendant’s blood was taken at the hospital by law enforcement. At the time of the blood draw, no warrant had been issued and no implied consent had been given under N.C.G.S. § 20-16.2.

Holding: Based on the time it took to investigate an accident involving a fatality, the time to transport the Defendant to the hospital, the lack of police assistance for the investigating officers, and the extra time it would have taken to prepare and submit a search warrant, exigent circumstances existed to justify a warrantless search of Defendant’s blood. Practice tip: In distinguishing Cannon, focus on the (1) the fatality investigation; (2) lack of police assistance; and (3) drug impairment case. Cf. State v. Romano, 369 N.C. 678 (N.C. 2017).


State v. Rouse, 2022 NCCOA 496 (N.C. App. 2022)

Holding: Sufficient circumstantial evidence of driving was presented in this case by the State to avoid a Motion to Dismiss. SENTENCING State v. Adams, 2022 NCCOA 845 (N.C. App. 2022) Holding: N.C.G.S. § 20-179(r) does not authorize a judge to mandate a transfer from supervised to unsupervised probation on the passage of a certain amount of time. State v. King, No. COA22-469 (N.C. App. 2023) Holding: N.C.G.S. § 20-179(a2)(2) requires a jury to decide whether aggravating factors exist.

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