An anonymous tip mis-identifying the suspect as a white male and vaguely describing suspicious behavior was insufficient to support a warrantless traffic stop, and the contraband discovered during the stop should have been suppressed.
NC Court of Appeals re-affirms Protection of Privacy in a Home's "Curtilage" and Suppresses Marijuana
Review of two recent North Carolina Appellate decisions, one regarding insufficient evidence to convict the accused of constructive possession and one about suppression of marijuana evidence discovered through a violation of the accused's 4th Amendment right to be free of warrantless searches in the absence of probable cause AND exigent circumstances.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed two convictions of maintaining a building or vehicle for drug purposes, citing insufficient evidence. This is an important case defining what the crime is not, and should provide guidance for prosecutors and defense attorneys who have to deal with these allegations which are often used as bargaining chips to convince defendants to plead guilty to other crimes in a plea bargain.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court's ruling that a magistrate-issued warrant for the search of a home was not supported by probable cause to believe that drugs would be found in that particular home and that the evidence found in the home was the "fruit of the poisonous tree" and could not be used against the defendants in support of criminal charges.
4th Circuit: Evidence Suppressed because Police Detained Suspect Without Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity
The exclusionary rule prevents the government from presenting evidence in a criminal case that is tainted by a violation of the suspect/defendant's constitutional rights. A recent 4th Circuit Appellate concluded that drug evidence should have been suppressed under the exclusionary rule because the police seized the defendant without a reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in criminal behavior. This article explores the case and the law behind the Court's ruling.