General warrants, whereby any officer or other person may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of the act committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty and shall not be granted.
Cross References. - As to searches and seizures, see G.S. § 15A-231.
As to search warrants, see G.S. § 15A-241.
History Note. - The provisions of this section are similar to those of Art. I, § 15, Const. 1868.
Editor's Note. - Session Laws § 2011-6, s. 2, provides: "The General Assembly respectfully requests that the North Carolina Supreme Court reconsider, and overrule, its holding in State v. Carter that the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule which exists under federal law does not apply under North Carolina State law."
Legal Periodicals. - For discussion of statute enacted pursuant to this provision, see 15 N.C.L. Rev. 101 (1937).
As to limitations on investigating officers, see 15 N.C.L. Rev. 229 (1937).
For case law survey as to searches and seizures, see 45 N.C.L. Rev. 931 (1967).
For survey of 1979 constitutional law, see 58 N.C.L. Rev. 1326 (1980).
For note on warrantless aerial surveillance endorsed in California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207, 106 S. Ct. 1809, 90 L. Ed. 2d 210, rehearing denied, 478 U.S. 1014, 106 S. Ct. 3320, 92 L. Ed. 2d 728 (1986), see 9 Campbell L. Rev. 497 (1987).
For note, "North Carolina Adopts the Inevitable Discovery Exception to the Exclusionary Rule: - State v. Garner," see 15 Campbell L. Rev. 305 (1993).
For article, "Hobgood, I-95 A/K The Drug Trafficker's Freeway, and Its Impact on State Constitutional Law," see 21 Campbell L. Rev. 237 (1999).
For note on determining reasonable, articulable suspicion from the totality of the circumstances in two North Carolina stop and frisk cases, see 78 N.C.L. Rev. 539 (2000).
For comment, "Big Brother is Watching You: Government Surveillance Through Cell Site Location Information and the Fourth Circuit's Attempt to Stop It," see 51 Wake Forest L. Rev. 493 (2016).
I. General Consideration.
II. Warrantless Searches.
III. Search Warrants.
I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION.
Editor's Note. - Some of the cases cited below were decided under former Art. I, § 15, Const. 1868.
Search and Seizure Requirements Under U.S. Const., Amend. IV Compared. - Though the language in this section, providing in substance that any search or seizure must be "supported by evidence," is markedly different from that in the federal Constitution, there is no variance between the search and seizure law of North Carolina and the requirements of U.S. Const., Amend. IV as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States. State v. Hendricks, 43 N.C. App. 245, 258 S.E.2d 872 (1979), cert. denied, 299 N.C. 123, 262 S.E.2d 6 (1980).
Pointing to the differences in language in the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and this section of the North Carolina Constitution, the North Carolina Constitution is more protective of a person's privacy and requires a stricter standard in justifying a warrantless search. State v. Mills, 104 N.C. App. 724, 411 S.E.2d 193 (1991).
The language of this section differs markedly from the language of U.S. Const., Amend. IV. Nevertheless, this section prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. State v. Arrington, 311 N.C. 633, 319 S.E.2d 254 (1984).
This section does not require more particularity in subpoenas than does U.S. Const., Amend. IV as applied to the states through U.S. Const., Amend. XIV. In re Computer Technology Corp., 78 N.C. App. 402, 337 S.E.2d 165 (1985).
Other State Remedies Must Be Exhausted. - A state constitutional action is not proper under this section, unless no other state remedy is available; here, an existing state tort remedy precluded plaintiff's assault-based constitutional claim against an arresting officer. Glenn-Robinson v. Acker, 140 N.C. App. 606, 538 S.E.2d 601 (2000).
It was not error to grant summary judgment in favor of a police officer and a city, as to a citizen's claims under N.C. Const., Art. I, §§ 19, 20, 21, and 35, based on the officer's alleged use of excessive force, because the fact that the citizen had to overcome the affirmative defense of public officer immunity to succeed on the citizen's tort claims did not negate the claims' adequacy as a remedy, so a direct cause of action under the North Carolina Constitution was not permitted. Debaun v. Kuszaj, 238 N.C. App. 36, 767 S.E.2d 353 (2014).
Standing to Object to Search. - Burglary defendant had no standing to object to the search of a car from which evidence was taken by the FBI where, although defendant had paid $3,500 of the $4,000 purchase price, the owner of the car dealership retained title and had given his consent to the search. State v. Mandina, 91 N.C. App. 686, 373 S.E.2d 155 (1988).
Defendant did not have standing to contend that the search and seizure of a briefcase and its contents violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and § 20 of the North Carolina Constitution, where the defendant presented no evidence that he asserted any ownership or possessory interest in the briefcase. State v. Cohen, 117 N.C. App. 265, 450 S.E.2d 503 (1994).
Defendant was not seized under the Fourth Amendment when the officer activated the blue lights on his patrol car because he chose to continue driving and did not submit to the officer's authority. The seizure occurred approximately two minutes later when defendant stopped his vehicle. State v. Mangum, - N.C. App. - , 795 S.E.2d 106 (2016), review denied, stay lifted, stay denied, 797 S.E.2d 8, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 168 (2017); review denied, appeal dismissed, stay denied, 797 S.E.2d 283, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 171 (2017).
Abandoned Property. - For abandonment to occur, the discarding of property must occur in a public place; one simply cannot abandon property within the curtilage of one's own home. State v. Reed, 182 N.C. App. 109, 641 S.E.2d 320 (2007), cert. denied, 361 N.C. 701, 653 S.E.2d 155 (2007), State v. Reed, 182 N.C. App. 109, 641 S.E.2d 320 (2007).
Open Field. - Land consisting of nearly 119 acres of wooded land constituted an "open field," so that the investigating officers' entry onto the property and the observations that they made while they were there did not constitute a search for U.S. Const., Amend. I, purposes, where hunting was the only activity that took place upon the property, other than the growing of trees, and there were no buildings or residences contained on the tract of land. State v. Ballance, 218 N.C. App. 202, 720 S.E.2d 856 (2012).
No Expectation of Privacy in Property Relinquished to Another. - When one voluntarily puts property under the control of another, he must be viewed as having relinquished any prior legitimate expectation of privacy with regard to that property, as it becomes subject to public exposure upon the whim of the other person. State v. Phillips, 132 N.C. App. 765, 513 S.E.2d 568 (1999).
An ex parte order from the superior court, directing officials of a certain corporation to make available certain records pertaining to its transactions with two other corporations and with the City of Charlotte, incident to an investigation into possible fraud and irregularities in the purchasing of parts, equipment and services by the city, was not an administrative search warrant to which the strictness of U.S. Const., Amend. IV, this section and G.S. § 15-27.2 would apply; and where such order was neither unreasonably broad nor indefinite, its issuance would be affirmed. In re Computer Technology Corp., 78 N.C. App. 402, 337 S.E.2d 165 (1985).
Guilty as Well as Innocent Protected. - The fundamental law protects a person from the search of his private dwelling without a warrant, which protection extends to all equally, the guilty as well as the innocent. State v. Mills, 246 N.C. 237, 98 S.E.2d 329 (1957).
The protection against illegal search extends to the justly, as well as to the unjustly, accused. State v. Hall, 264 N.C. 559, 142 S.E.2d 177 (1965), overruled on other grounds, State v. Worsley, 336 N.C. 268, 443 S.E.2d 68 (1994).
"Search" Defined. - A search ordinarily implies a quest by an officer of the law, a prying into hidden places for that which is concealed. State v. Raynor, 27 N.C. App. 538, 219 S.E.2d 657 (1975).
Fact of Search Must Be Established. - Before the legality of an alleged search may be questioned, it is necessary to first determine whether there has actually been a search. State v. Raynor, 27 N.C. App. 538, 219 S.E.2d 657 (1975).
Reasonable suspicion is the necessary standard for traffic stops, regardless of whether a traffic violation was readily observed or merely suspected, and to the extent language in State v. Ivey, 360 N.C. 562, 633 S.E.2d 459 (2006), may be interpreted as requiring probable cause, the North Carolina Supreme Court specifically disavows that interpretation. State v. Styles, 362 N.C. 412, 665 S.E.2d 438 (2008).
Protection Extends Only to Unreasonable Searches. - Constitutional protection does not extend to all searches and seizures, but only to those which are unreasonable. State v. Turnbull, 16 N.C. App. 542, 192 S.E.2d 689 (1972); State v. Frederick, 31 N.C. App. 503, 230 S.E.2d 421 (1976).
The guarantees of this section protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. They are designed for the protection of the innocent. State v. Ellington, 284 N.C. 198, 200 S.E.2d 177 (1973).
Application to brief investigatory traffic stops the constitutional prohibition of unreasonable seizures of the person apply to brief investigatory traffic stops. State v. Schiffer, 132 N.C. App. 22, 510 S.E.2d 165 (1999).
Traffic Stop was not Unconstitutional. - Trial court's finding that at the time defendant's vehicle changed lanes without a signal, it was being operated by defendant immediately in front of an arresting officer's vehicle indicated that defendant's failure to signal violated G.S. § 20-154(a) because it was clear that changing lanes immediately in front of another vehicle might affect the operation of the trailing vehicle; the officer's observation of the traffic violation gave him the required reasonable suspicion to stop defendant's vehicle such that the stop was not unconstitutional. State v. Styles, 362 N.C. 412, 665 S.E.2d 438 (2008).
Reasonable Suspicion for Investigatory Stop. - As a general rule, a stop made for investigatory purposes is reasonable, and therefore constitutional, when the investigating officer has a reasonable suspicion, supported by articulable facts, that the person seized may have engaged in or may be engaged in criminal activity. State v. Schiffer, 132 N.C. App. 22, 510 S.E.2d 165 (1999).
The level of suspicion required for an investigatory stop is lower than what is required for a seizure based on probable cause, which is a suspicion produced by such facts as indicate a fair probability that the person seized has engaged in or is engaged in criminal activity. State v. Schiffer, 132 N.C. App. 22, 510 S.E.2d 165 (1999).
Defendant was not illegally seized in contravention of his constitutional rights, as an officer did not tell defendant he could not leave, defendant had consented to speak with the officer, and the officer had not restrained defendant's freedom to walk away. Defendant had no driver's license with him and did not know the name of a friend to whom his car belonged; these articulable facts were sufficient to give rise to a reasonable suspicion in the mind of a trained police officer that defendant was involved in criminal activity, and the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress. State v. Campbell, 359 N.C. 644, 617 S.E.2d 1 (2005).
Reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity justifying the stop of defendant's vehicle did not exist where a detective only observed defendant weaving within defendant's lane and the detective did not observe defendant violating any laws such as driving above or below the speed limit. Furthermore, defendant was stopped during the afternoon, not an unusual hour, and there was no evidence that defendant was near any places that sold alcohol. State v. Fields, 195 N.C. App. 740, 673 S.E.2d 765 (2009).
Officer had reasonable suspicion to stop defendant's vehicle where an anonymous tip was received about an intoxicated person driving, and the officer's subsequent observations corroborated the tip. The officer testified that defendant consistently drove 15 miles below the speed limit, he stopped longer than usual at a corner and a railroad crossing, and he failed to pull over when the officer activated his lights, but continued driving for two minutes before finally stopping in the middle of the street. State v. Mangum, - N.C. App. - , 795 S.E.2d 106 (2016), review denied, stay lifted, stay denied, 797 S.E.2d 8, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 168 (2017); review denied, appeal dismissed, stay denied, 797 S.E.2d 283, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 171 (2017).
Reasonable Suspension for Continued Detention. - Detention after the identifications of the driver and defendant were returned was supported by reasonable suspicion and thus, did not violate the Fourth Amendment or N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, where defendant and another gave conflicting statements about the origin of their travel, the driver did not know their purported destination, and their choice of route seemed incongruous with the travel route. State v. Williams, 215 N.C. App. 1, 714 S.E.2d 835 (2011), aff'd, 366 N.C. 110, 726 S.E.2d 161, 2012 N.C. LEXIS 410 (N.C. 2012).
Unreasonable Search Defined. - North Carolina has defined an unreasonable search as an examination or inspection without authority of law of one's premises or person with a view to the discovery of some evidence of guilt to be used in the prosecution of a criminal action. State v. Turnbull, 16 N.C. App. 542, 192 S.E.2d 689 (1972).
Except in certain cases, a search of private property without proper consent is "unreasonable" unless it has been authorized by a valid search warrant. State v. Frederick, 31 N.C. App. 503, 230 S.E.2d 421 (1976).
The reasonableness of the search is in the first instance a substantive determination to be made by the trial court from the facts and circumstances of the case in the light of the criteria laid down by U.S. Const., Amend. IV and opinions which apply that amendment. State v. Turnbull, 16 N.C. App. 542, 192 S.E.2d 689 (1972).
An unlawful search does not become lawful by the discoveries which result from it. State v. Hall, 264 N.C. 559, 142 S.E.2d 177 (1965), overruled on other grounds, State v. Worsley, 336 N.C. 268, 443 S.E.2d 68 (1994).
Evidence which is obtained as a result of an unreasonable search and seizure may not be admitted in either the State or federal courts. State v. Frederick, 31 N.C. App. 503, 230 S.E.2d 421 (1976); State v. Small, 293 N.C. 646, 239 S.E.2d 429 (1977).
Confession After Confrontation with Articles Obtained by Illegal Search. - Where a confession is obtained from defendant after he has been confronted with stolen property recovered from his home in an unlawful search without a warrant, the court must find whether such confession was actually free and voluntary or whether it was triggered by the use of the articles obtained by the illegal search. State v. Hall, 264 N.C. 559, 142 S.E.2d 177 (1965), overruled on other grounds, State v. Worsley, 336 N.C. 268, 443 S.E.2d 68 (1994).
Stop and Frisk Procedure. - Action of law enforcement agents who entered lounge pursuant to a valid search warrant and frisked defendant for weapons was not unconstitutional, since the North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the "stop and frisk" procedure, and since there is a specific grant of authority in G.S. § 15A-255. State v. Davis, 94 N.C. App. 358, 380 S.E.2d 378 (1989).
It is well within the law to conduct a frisk of a defendant for weapons when strictly limited to a determination of whether defendant was armed. State v. Harris, 95 N.C. App. 691, 384 S.E.2d 50 (1989), aff'd, 326 N.C. 588, 391 S.E.2d 187 (1990).
Duty of Trial Court. - The trial court has a duty to pass upon the validity of a search and the competency of evidence procured thereunder when properly made the subject of inquiry. State v. Thompson, 15 N.C. App. 416, 190 S.E.2d 355, cert. denied, 282 N.C. 307, 192 S.E.2d 197 (1972).
Judge Issuing Search Warrant May Review Its Validity. - There is no statutory or constitutional proscription in North Carolina against a judge's presiding at a hearing to review the validity of a search warrant issued by that judge. State v. Brown, 20 N.C. App. 413, 201 S.E.2d 527, appeal dismissed, 285 N.C. 87, 204 S.E.2d 21 (1974).
Waiver. - By a voluntary waiver and consent to search, free from coercion, duress or fraud, and not given merely to avoid resistance, a defendant relinquishes the protection of U.S. Const., Amend. IV, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and also relinquishes the protection given by this section against an unlawful search and seizure. State v. Little, 270 N.C. 234, 154 S.E.2d 61 (1967).
If one voluntarily permits or expressly invites and agrees to a search, being cognizant of his rights, such conduct amounts to a waiver of his constitutional protection. State v. Colson, 274 N.C. 295, 163 S.E.2d 376 (1968), cert. denied, 393 U.S. 1087, 89 S. Ct. 876, 21 L. Ed. 2d 780 (1969).
When the evidence is delivered to a police officer upon request and without compulsion or coercion, there is no search within the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. State v. Raynor, 27 N.C. App. 538, 219 S.E.2d 657 (1975); State v. Small, 293 N.C. 646, 239 S.E.2d 429 (1977).
Evidence in License Revocation Hearing Not Subject to Exclusionary Rule. - Whether or not law enforcement officers had reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop a driver, the evidence that resulted from the stop was not subject to the exclusionary rule; evidence in a license revocation hearing similarly is not subject to the exclusionary rule. Hartman v. Robertson, 208 N.C. App. 692, 703 S.E.2d 811 (2010).
For case refusing to adopt a "good faith" exception to the exclusionary rule, see State v. Carter, 322 N.C. 709, 370 S.E.2d 553 (1988).
Violation Shown. - Where seizure was a violation of defendant's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the evidence seized had to be suppressed. State v. Artis, 123 N.C. App. 114, 472 S.E.2d 169 (1996), cert. denied, 344 N.C. 633, 477 S.E.2d 45 (1998).
Trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress because the civil domestic violence protective order at issue only required defendant to surrender any weapons that he might have, the officers executing the order lacked probable cause to suspect any particular criminal activity when they approached defendant's home, there were no exigent circumstances, and the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply to evidence obtained in violation of the state constitution. State v. Elder, 232 N.C. App. 80, 753 S.E.2d 504 (2014), review denied, 758 S.E.2d 863, 2014 N.C. LEXIS 417 (2014).
Motion to Suppress Properly Denied. - An anticipatory warrant to search the premises when an intercepted package containing contraband was delivered was properly executed where: (1) the warrant clearly established explicit triggering events on its face which were definable and preordained; (2) although the package was no longer in the house when the search occurred, the package was delivered, accepted, and taken into the house by defendant; (3) the delivery of the package linked the house to criminal activity inside, giving rise to probable cause for the search; and (4) the warrant specifically allowed the officers to search the premises to find and seize cocaine generally and to identify the participants of the crime; thus, a trial court correctly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to the anticipatory search warrant. State v. Baldwin, 161 N.C. App. 382, 588 S.E.2d 497 (2003).
Trial court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence in the trial of his charge of assault on a law enforcement officer because, even if the police officers' entry into defendant's home was unlawful, the exclusionary rule did not operate to exclude evidence of defendant's assault on the law enforcement officers. State v. Parker, 188 N.C. App. 616, 655 S.E.2d 860 (2008).
In a case in which defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, he contended that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of an unconstitutional search and seizure. An officer legitimately approached defendant's vehicle and detected the plain smell of marijuana as set forth in the Yates decision, and the plain smell of marijuana by the officer provided sufficient probable cause to support a search and defendant's subsequent arrest. State v. Corpening, 200 N.C. App. 311, 683 S.E.2d 457 (2009).
In a case in which defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, he contended unsuccessfully that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence. Defendant's argument that the checkpoint was unconstitutional was inapplicable since he stopped solely of his own volition, rather than pursuant to any form of State action; because he parked 100 to 200 feet prior to the checkpoint, the appellate court did not have to address (1) whether the checkpoint was valid, or (2) engage in an analysis concerning a traffic stop. State v. Corpening, 200 N.C. App. 311, 683 S.E.2d 457 (2009).
It was no error not to suppress records of the location of defendant's cell phone because, inter alia, retrieval of the information was not a "search" requiring a warrant under the Fourth Amendment or N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, as no physical trespass occurred, defendant showed no GPS or "real-time" tracking, and defendant voluntarily conveyed the information to a provider, so defendant showed no reasonable expectation of privacy. State v. Perry, - N.C. App. - , 776 S.E.2d 528 (2015).
It was no error not to suppress records of the location of defendant's cell phone because, inter alia, the good-faith exception to the warrant requirement applied, as an officer relied on procedures in the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 2703(d), to obtain the information. State v. Perry, - N.C. App. - , 776 S.E.2d 528 (2015).
Dog Sniff. - Trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress had to be vacated, as the judgment denying that motion was null and void because it was entered out of county, out of term, and out of session; as a result, the trial court had to hold a new suppression hearing, and at that time the court could consider whether defendant's constitutional rights were violated by a police officer's dog sniff of defendant's vehicle while defendant was detained at a checkpoint used to determine the validity of drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations, which led to the discovery that defendant possessed marijuana and cocaine. State v. Branch, 177 N.C. App. 104, 627 S.E.2d 506 (2006).
Search Exceeded Scope of Consent. - Search of defendant's van, which included the officer's removal of a plastic wall panel, exceeded the scope of defendant's consent and thus, violated the Fourth Amendment and N.C. Const., Art. 1, § 20. Among other things, there was no evidence nor finding of fact suggesting that the officer suspected that the van contained contraband or that defendant was involved in criminal conduct. State v. Johnson, 177 N.C. App. 122, 627 S.E.2d 488 (2006).
Applied in State v. Allison, 298 N.C. 135, 257 S.E.2d 417 (1979); State v. Warren, 59 N.C. App. 264, 296 S.E.2d 671 (1982); State v. Kornegay, 313 N.C. 1, 326 S.E.2d 881 (1985); State v. Bromfield, 332 N.C. 24, 418 S.E.2d 491 (1992); State v. Johnson, 143 N.C. App. 307, 547 S.E.2d 445 (2001).
Cited in Bostic v. Rodriguez, 667 F. Supp. 2d 591 (E.D.N.C. 2009).
II. WARRANTLESS SEARCHES.
Plain View Doctrine. - This section does not prohibit a seizure without a warrant where there is no need of a search, and where the contraband subject matter is fully disclosed and open to the eye and hand. State v. Colson, 274 N.C. 295, 163 S.E.2d 376 (1968), cert. denied, 393 U.S. 1087, 89 S. Ct. 876, 21 L. Ed. 2d 780 (1969).
The constitutional and statutory guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure does not prohibit seizure of evidence and its introduction into evidence on a subsequent prosecution where no search is required. State v. Simmons, 278 N.C. 468, 180 S.E.2d 97 (1971); State v. Raynor, 27 N.C. App. 538, 219 S.E.2d 657 (1975).
No search warrant is needed to seize items in plain view. State v. Thompson, 15 N.C. App. 416, 190 S.E.2d 355, cert. denied, 282 N.C. 307, 192 S.E.2d 197 (1972); State v. Small, 293 N.C. 646, 239 S.E.2d 429 (1977).
Reasonable Suspicion to Stop Defendant's Vehicle. - Officer had reasonable suspicion for stopping defendant for violating G.S. § 20-141(a), by driving too quickly given the road conditions after the officer observed defendant abruptly accelerate his truck and turn left, causing the truck to fishtail in the snow before defendant regained control. State v. Johnson, - N.C. - , - S.E.2d - (Aug. 18, 2017).
When police officers discover evidence of a crime in plain view, without the necessity of a search, they may seize the evidence without obtaining a search warrant. State v. Young, 21 N.C. App. 369, 204 S.E.2d 556, cert. denied, 285 N.C. 595, 206 S.E.2d 867 (1974).
When contraband material is in plain view no search is necessary, and the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure does not prevent either the seizure of the contraband without a warrant or its introduction into evidence. State v. Walker, 25 N.C. App. 157, 212 S.E.2d 528, cert. denied, 287 N.C. 264, 214 S.E.2d 436; 423 U.S. 894, 96 S. Ct. 193, 46 L. Ed. 2d 126, modified and aff'd, 27 N.C. App. 295, 219 S.E.2d 76 (1975).
Trial court erred in suppressing the rifle, as it was in plain view after the officer learned that defendant was a felon in possession of a firearm. State v. Price, 233 N.C. App. 386, 757 S.E.2d 309 (2014).
When Plain View Rule Applies - Generally. - The "plain view" rule does not apply unless the police have a right to be at the place where the evidence is discovered. State v. Young, 21 N.C. App. 369, 204 S.E.2d 556, cert. denied, 285 N.C. 595, 206 S.E.2d 867 (1974).
Evidence of crime falling in the plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have that view is subject to seizure and may be introduced into evidence. State v. Mitchell, 300 N.C. 305, 266 S.E.2d 605 (1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1085, 101 S. Ct. 873, 66 L. Ed. 2d 810 (1981).
When Lawfully on Premises. - When police officers lawfully enter a person's premises and observe evidence of a crime in plain view, they may seize it without obtaining a search warrant. State v. Carr, 21 N.C. App. 470, 204 S.E.2d 892 (1974).
By being lawfully on the premises officers are entitled to seize such evidentiary objects connected with defendants as are in plain view. State v. Alford, 289 N.C. 372, 222 S.E.2d 222, death sentence vacated, 429 U.S. 809, 97 S. Ct. 46, 50 L. Ed. 2d 69 (1975).
While Conducting Lawful Search. - While conducting a lawful search, where officers found in plain view property identified as that reported missing, these items were lawfully seized. State v. Travatello, 24 N.C. App. 511, 211 S.E.2d 467 (1975).
Search of Automobiles and Conveyances. - Automobiles and other conveyances may be searched without a warrant under circumstances that would not justify the search of a house, and a police officer in the exercise of his duties may search an automobile or other conveyance without a search warrant when the existing facts and circumstances are sufficient to support a reasonable belief that the automobile or other conveyance carries contraband materials. State v. Simmons, 278 N.C. 468, 180 S.E.2d 97 (1971).
Where police officers are exercising proper precautionary measures, it is not error to complete the search of defendant's automobile at a scene more tranquil than that at which the arrest was made. State v. Hardy, 17 N.C. App. 169, 193 S.E.2d 459 (1972), cert. denied, 283 N.C. 107, 194 S.E.2d 635; 414 U.S. 999, 94 S. Ct. 352, 38 L. Ed. 2d 235 (1973).
Trial court properly denied the defendant's motion to suppress cocaine found in the trunk of a car defendant rented following a stop of the car for speeding because the trial court determined that a vehicle search by police officers was consensual; and the police officers had a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity because defendant and the driver of the car gave conflicting stories, the driver avoided direct eye contact with a police officer, and the back seat was full of personal belongings indicating that drugs might be in the trunk. These factors, coupled with the specific experience and training of the officers at the scene, gave rise to reasonable, articulable suspicion. State v. Bell, 156 N.C. App. 350, 576 S.E.2d 695 (2003).
When defendant's vehicle was properly subjected to an investigatory stop, and he was observed reaching under his front seat and then exited his vehicle and refused to comply with orders to get back in his car, police could conduct a protective search of the vehicle. State v. Edwards, 164 N.C. App. 130, 595 S.E.2d 213 (2004), cert. denied, 358 N.C. 735, 603 S.E.2d 879 (2004).
Trial court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from his car after it was stopped for a traffic violation, as the search of the vehicle was based on defendant's unlimited consent, and further, information received from a passenger as to where contraband could be found in the vehicle justified the search under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, pursuant to U.S. Const., Amend. IV and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20. State v. Baublitz, 172 N.C. App. 801, 616 S.E.2d 615 (2005).
Where the police officer stopped defendant for a traffic violation, the officer had a reasonable suspicion pursuant to N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 and U.S. Const., Amend. IV to expand the scope of the detention; defendant, who was seated next to the officer in the patrol car while the officer wrote a traffic citation, exhibited extremely nervous behavior, including a heartbeat that was visible through defendant's shirt, and defendant gave inconsistent responses as to where defendant was going. State v. Hernandez, 170 N.C. App. 299, 612 S.E.2d 420 (2005).
Stop of vehicle defendant was riding in violated N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, because the stop was not justified by a reasonable suspicion based on objective facts; the officer had no suspicion that illegal activity had occurred when the officer stopped the vehicle. State v. Murray, 192 N.C. App. 684, 666 S.E.2d 205 (2008).
Defendant's claim that an officer should have informed him that he was searching for narcotics so that defendant could have issued some limiting instructions before consenting to a vehicle search under the Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const., amend. IV, and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 was rejected as: (1) there was no requirement that an officer inform defendant of what he was searching for; (2) the driver was asked if any weapons, cash or contraband were in the car; (3) defendant informed the officer that it might be difficult to search the vehicle as it was messy; (4) both the driver and defendant were aware that the search would be somewhat detailed as the driver was asked to identify any objects that did not belong to him; and (5) the officer immediately found a bag of marijuana under the front seat and marijuana seeds in the ashtray, and at that point, the officers had probable cause to search the entire vehicle and probable cause to arrest the driver and defendant. State v. Heien, 226 N.C. App. 280, 741 S.E.2d 1 (2013), aff'd 367 N.C. 163, 749 S.E.2d 278, 2013 N.C. LEXIS 1157 (2013).
Probable Cause to Stop Defendant's Vehicle. - Where a police officer had probable cause to stop defendant's vehicle and defendant was predisposed to commit the crime, the trial court properly denied defendant's motions to suppress and defendant's motion for a jury instruction on entrapment. State v. Reynolds, 161 N.C. App. 144, 587 S.E.2d 456 (2003).
Police officer had probable cause pursuant to U.S. Const., Amend. IV and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 to stop defendant's vehicle because the officer witnessed defendant remove his seat belt while driving, a violation of G.S. § 20-135.2A(a). State v. Hernandez, 170 N.C. App. 299, 612 S.E.2d 420 (2005).
Officer had probable cause to stop defendant because the officer, who was traveling behind defendant, saw defendant change lanes without signaling, which was a violation G.S. § 20-154(a); the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized after the stop was proper. State v. Styles, 185 N.C. App. 271, 648 S.E.2d 214 (2007), aff'd, 362 N.C. 412, 665 S.E.2d 438 (2008).
Traffic stop violated defendant's Fourth Amendment rights since the legal justification for a deputy's stop of defendant's vehicle was not objectively reasonable as the deputy stopped defendant for speeding under a mistaken belief as to the legal speed limit, and it was undisputed that defendant was not exceeding the speed limit; the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions require an officer who makes a seizure on the basis of a perceived traffic violation to have probable cause to believe the driver's actions violated a motor vehicle law. State v. McLamb, 186 N.C. App. 124, 649 S.E.2d 902 (2007), review denied, stay denied, 362 N.C. 368, 663 S.E.2d 433 (2008).
Officers had a reasonable articulable suspicion that defendant was involved in illegal activity when they stopped defendant's vehicle as: (1) an informant had told the police that defendant would be transporting cocaine that day and described the vehicle and indicated that the informant had seen cocaine in defendant's possession; (2) a car matching the informant's description arrived at the designated location at the approximate time specified; (3) the informant confirmed that the driver of the vehicle was defendant; and (4) the totality of the circumstances gave the officers a reasonable articulable suspicion that defendant was transporting drugs, which gave the officers probable cause to arrest and search defendant's car. State v. Crowell, 204 N.C. App. 362, 693 S.E.2d 370 (2010).
Defendant's motion to suppress evidence was properly denied, because the officer's observation of a speeding vehicle provided reasonable suspicion to justify an investigative stop and the conclusion that defendant was the person driving the vehicle was supported by the officer's description of the speeding vehicle and testimony that the officer only lost sight of the vehicle for a short time but immediately recognized the car and the driver when he the vehicle again after turning a corner the officer believed the car had taken. State v. Royster, 224 N.C. App. 374, 737 S.E.2d 400 (2012).
Drug Search Upheld after Traffic Stop under Wren Rule. - Where defendant, who had been stopped for speeding and following too closely, presented a nervous appearance, gave vague answers as to ownership of car, and refused permission to search it, court properly found police had probable cause, questioning did not exceed permissible scope of the traffic stop, and detention of defendant was justified and not in violation of defendant's constitutional rights under this section. The Supreme Court further declared subjective motives of police officer immaterial and upheld use of the objective. When rule standard to determine reasonableness of police action, related to probable cause, in view of constitutional concerns. State v. McClendon, 350 N.C. 630, 517 S.E.2d 128 (1999).
Drug Dog Sniff. - Where a drug dog sniff was conducted on defendant's vehicle during a traffic stop, defendant's motion to suppress was properly denied because (1) the officers needed no further justification in order to conduct the dog sniff since the initial traffic stop was lawful, and (2) the dog sniff did not unreasonably prolong the detention. State v. Brimmer, 187 N.C. App. 451, 653 S.E.2d 196 (2007).
Instinctive action by a police dog, unguided and undirected by the police, in nuzzling the opening of a garbage bag found in a closet of defendant's residence to reveal marijuana inside the bag, which brought evidence not otherwise in plain view into plain view, was not a search within the meaning of constitutional law. State v. Miller, 367 N.C. 702, 766 S.E.2d 289 (2014).
Search of Recent Passenger Based on Drug Dog Alert Improper. - Trial court's grant of defendant's motion to suppress was proper, because the drug dog's positive alert at the front side driver's door of a motor vehicle did not give rise to probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of the person of a recent passenger. Without probable cause more particularized to defendant, the search of defendant, a passenger, violated the Fourth Amendment and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20. State v. Smith, 222 N.C. App. 253, 729 S.E.2d 120 (2012).
Sobriety Checkpoint. - Order suppressing evidence obtained by roadway checkpoint was error because no evidence suggested that the stated proper purpose of checkpoint (sobriety) was a mask for another, unconstitutional purpose, and as such the trial court was in error in holding that the lack of such evidence required it to exclude the evidence obtained by the stop; from the available evidence, it was clear that the actual purpose of the checkpoint was the same as its stated purpose: to check for sobriety. State v. Burroughs, 185 N.C. App. 496, 648 S.E.2d 561 (2007).
Attempt to Evade Checkpoint. - Traffic stop was constitutional, regardless of the constitutionality of a license checkpoint, because the place and manner of defendant's turn in conjunction with the proximity to the checkpoint, caused the officer to suspect that defendant was violating the law, and gave the officer reasonable suspicion to stop defendant's vehicle. State v. Griffin, 366 N.C. 473, 749 S.E.2d 444 (2013).
Traffic Stop for Violation of Windshield Tinting Restrictions. - A deputy had reasonable suspicion to stop a car for violating windshield tinting restrictions, even though the tinting did not violate Florida law where the car was registered and despite the fact that the deputy misunderstood the applicable statutes, since the section did not except vehicles registered in other states, and the tinting did violate G.S. § 20-127. State v. Schiffer, 132 N.C. App. 22, 510 S.E.2d 165 (1999).
Informant's tip was sufficiently reliable to justify an investigative stop of the vehicle in which defendant was a passenger, as well as a brief investigative detention of the vehicle's occupants, to search for weapons. State v. Sanchez, 147 N.C. App. 619, 556 S.E.2d 602 (2001), cert. denied, 355 N.C. 220, 560 S.E.2d 358 (2002).
Informant's tip had sufficient reliability and specificity to constitute reasonable suspicion to stop defendant as: (1) the chief of police had known the informant for 13 years, including as a child, and knew that the informant had provided previous information about illegal drug activity that had yielded an arrest; (2) the tip did not have to be analyzed as an anonymous tip; (3) the basis for the informant's knowledge did not have to be proven under the totality of circumstances test; and (4) the informant's tip provided specific information about defendant's future actions, including correctly predicting defendant's mode of transportation, defendant's destination, and defendant's time of arrival, which, after it was corroborated by the police, sufficiently demonstrated that the informant had inside knowledge about the suspect, giving the police reasonable suspicion to believe the rest of the informant's tip. State v. Crowell, 204 N.C. App. 362, 693 S.E.2d 370 (2010).
Car Found in Plain View. - Car reasonably believed to be the fruit, instrumentality or evidence of a crime can be seized whenever found in plain view. State v. Mitchell, 300 N.C. 305, 266 S.E.2d 605 (1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1085, 101 S. Ct. 873, 66 L. Ed. 2d 810 (1981).
Improper Vehicle Stop. - Order granting defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained following a stop of his vehicle was proper because the movements of defendant's vehicle observed by the officer were nothing more than weaving, and the stop was illegal; the officer saw no other signs of a high or low speed, no prolonged weaving, no improper turns, no inappropriate use of signals, and no other evidence of any type of improper or erratic driving. State v. Kochuk, 223 N.C. App. 301, 741 S.E.2d 327 (2012), rev'd 742 S.E.2d 801, 2013 N.C. LEXIS 499 (2013).
Length of Investigative Stop. - While the officer's initial use of handcuffs was reasonable because both defendant and his companion were acting aggressively and the officer was the only officer present, the length of defendant's detention might have turned the investigatory stop into a de facto arrest, necessitating probable cause, however the trial judge failed to make findings on whether the extended detention was justified while the officer pursued his investigation or whether he unnecessarily delayed defendant's detention. State v. Thorpe, 232 N.C. App. 468, 754 S.E.2d 213 (2014).
Suspicion of Impairment Held Reasonable. - Despite lack of an observed and verifiable traffic code violation by suspect, his driving 20 miles per hour below the speed limit and weaving within his lane were actions sufficient to raise a suspicion of an impaired driver in a reasonable and experienced trooper's mind. State v. Jones, 96 N.C. App. 389, 386 S.E.2d 217 (1989), appeal dismissed, 326 N.C. 366, 389 S.E.2d 809 (1990).
Defendant's contention that the trial court should not have denied defendant's motion to suppress because the officer who stopped defendant's two-wheeled motorized vehicle did not have probable cause to make the stop had to be rejected; the officer was only required to have reasonable suspicion to stop defendant's vehicle because the officer did not stop defendant's vehicle based on the traffic violation of operating an unregistered vehicle, which would have required probable cause, but, instead, stopped the vehicle after observing defendant operate the vehicle in a manner that allowed the officer to reach the reasonable conclusion that defendant was driving the vehicle while defendant was impaired. State v. Jones, 186 N.C. App. 405, 651 S.E.2d 589 (2007), aff'd, 362 N.C. 341, 661 S.E.2d 733 (2008).
Investigatory stop of defendant's vehicle at around 12:15 a.m. in a high crime area of a town where a number of bars were located was constitutional under U.S. Const., Amend. IV and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 because, under the totality of the circumstances, defendant's 30-second delay before proceeding through a green traffic light gave rise to a reasonable, articulable suspicion that defendant may have been driving while impaired. State v. Barnard, 362 N.C. 244, 658 S.E.2d 643 (2008).
Blood Test on Unconscious Defendant. - In a prosecution for involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence, the performance of a blood alcohol test on blood seized from an unconscious defendant pursuant to G.S. § 20-16.2(b) did not violate defendant's rights under the U.S. Constitution and this section, because of (1) the existence of probable cause to arrest; (2) the limited nature of the intrusion upon the person; and (3) the destructibility of the evidence. State v. Hollingsworth, 77 N.C. App. 36, 334 S.E.2d 463 (1985).
Trial court properly granted defendant's motion to suppress blood draw evidence a police officer collected from a nurse who was treating defendant because the officer did not advise defendant of his rights and did not obtain his written or oral consent to the blood test; the State's post hoc actions did not overcome the presumption that the warrantless search was unreasonable, and it offended the Fourth Amendment and the State Constitution. State v. Romano, - N.C. App. - , 785 S.E.2d 168 (2016).
Trial court properly granted defendant's motion to suppress blood draw evidence a police officer collected from a nurse because the record did not affirmatively show that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe defendant, who was unconscious during the blood draw, committed the implied consent offense of driving while intoxicated; the record did not affirmatively show that defendant was intoxicated while he drove, but it raised a question as to whether defendant became very intoxicated. State v. Romano, - N.C. App. - , 785 S.E.2d 168 (2016).
Based on the United States Supreme Court's Fourth Amendment precedent regarding consent, the blood draw from defendant could not be justified under subsection(b) as a per se categorical exception to the warrant requirement; the implied-consent statute, as well as a person's decision to drive on public roads, are factors to consider when analyzing whether a suspect has consented to a blood draw, but the statute alone does not create a per se exception to the warrant requirement. State v. Romano, - N.C. - , - S.E.2d - (June 9, 2017).
Trial court correctly suppressed defendant's blood sample because subsection (b) was unconstitutional as applied to defendant since it permitted a warrantless search that violated the Fourth Amendment; blood draws could only be performed after obtaining a warrant, valid consent from the defendant, or under exigent circumstances with probable cause, but the officer who took possession of defendant's blood did not get a warrant, and there were no exigent circumstances. State v. Romano, - N.C. - , - S.E.2d - (June 9, 2017).
Drug and Alcohol Testing. - Trial court erred in granting a county board of education summary judgment in an action filed by a teacher, the North Carolina Association of Educators, support personnel, and administrators, seeking a declaration that the board's new drug and alcohol testing policy violated N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 because the board's policy violated the guarantee against unreasonable searches, and board employees' acknowledged privacy interests outweighed the board's interest in conducting random, suspicionless testing; the policy did not specify the "bodily specimen" employees were required to produce, the employees did not have a reduced expectation of privacy by virtue of their employment in a public school system, and the record was devoid of any evidence that the board's prior policy was in any way insufficient to satisfy its needs. Jones v. Graham County Bd. of Educ., 197 N.C. App. 279, 677 S.E.2d 171 (2009).
In a case in which defendant entered a conditional guilty plea to habitual impaired driving and appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress a blood test, the warrantless blood draw did not violate Article I of the North Carolina Constitution. State v. Fletcher, 202 N.C. App. 107, 688 S.E.2d 94 (2010).
It was not error to deny defendant's motion to suppress the results of a nonconsensual, warrantless, blood draw because, when defendant refused an intoxilyzer test, exigent circumstances allowed the draw, considering the totality of the circumstances, under G.S. § 20-139.1(d1), as an officer knew any alcohol in defendant's blood would dissipate and it would take four to five hours for a blood draw if a warrant were first obtained. State v. Dahlquist, 231 N.C. App. 100, 750 S.E.2d 580 (2013), dismissed and review denied 755 S.E.2d 614, 2014 N.C. LEXIS 203 (2014).
Hair and Saliva Samples. - Taking of hair and saliva samples without a showing of probable cause does not abridge the North Carolina Constitution. State v. Pearson, 145 N.C. App. 506, 551 S.E.2d 471 (2001), appeal dismissed, 354 N.C. 369, 557 S.E.2d 532 (2001), aff'd, 356 N.C. 22, 566 S.E.2d 50 (2002).
Reasonable suspicion for weapons search. - Officer had reasonable suspicion to briefly search defendant for weapons during a traffic stop and the denial of defendant's motion to suppress was proper because the officer used his prior experience and training to infer that the contents of defendant's right hand may have been a weapon and this inference went beyond unparticularized suspicion or hunch; because officers were allowed to take necessary steps to ensure their safety, the officer acted reasonably when he asked to see what was in defendant's hand. Moreover, the officer was led to a reasonable suspicion because of defendant's (1) erratic answers, (2) evasive actions, (3) continued refusal to show the officer the contents of his right fist, and (4) choice to raise his fist in a manner which led the officer to believe that defendant was about to strike him. State v. Miller, 198 N.C. App. 196, 678 S.E.2d 802 (2009).
Limitations on Pat-Down Search. - Although a police officer was justified in conducting a limited pat-down of the defendant to determine whether the defendant was armed, once the officer concluded that there was no weapon, he could not continue to search or question the defendant in order to ascertain whether a rolled up plastic bag was contraband. State v. Beveridge, 112 N.C. App. 688, 436 S.E.2d 912 (1993), cert. denied, 335 N.C. 560, 441 S.E.2d 105, aff'd per curiam, 336 N.C. 601, 444 S.E.2d 223 (1994).
Validity of Search Where Driver Not Charged with Offense. - Fact that driver was not charged thereafter with a DUI offense was not relevant to the trooper's initial suspicions; therefore, stop and search of car was valid. State v. Jones, 96 N.C. App. 389, 386 S.E.2d 217 (1989), appeal dismissed, 326 N.C. 366, 389 S.E.2d 809 (1990).
Results Not Suppressed Though State Line Crossed. - Neither the federal nor State Constitutions required that evidence of patrolman's detection of alcohol on defendant's breath and the results of a breathalyzer test given him by a Surry County deputy sheriff be suppressed where the arresting officer did not know that defendant crossed the state line into Virginia before stopping his truck. State v. Gwyn, 103 N.C. App. 369, 406 S.E.2d 145, cert. denied, 330 N.C. 199, 410 S.E.2d 498 (1991).
No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy in Communal Dumpster. - Because communal dumpster was not within the curtilage of defendant, he retained no legitimate expectation of privacy in his garbage once he placed it in said dumpster, and the warrantless search of the dumpster, resulting in charges of trafficking in cocaine, did not violate this section. State v. Washington, 134 N.C. App. 479, 518 S.E.2d 14 (1999).
No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy in Conversation with Confederate. - Pre-arrest warrantless recording of defendant's incriminating statements through witness did not violate defendant's right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure under this section, inasmuch as defendant had no legitimate expectation of privacy regarding a conversation he voluntarily maintained with a confederate, did not violate defendant's right under N.C. Const., Art. I, § 23, to be free from compulsory self-incrimination because his participation in the conversation was wholly voluntary, albeit ill-advised, and did not violate defendant's right under N.C. Const., Art. I, § 23, to counsel because the conversation in question occurred during the initial investigation of defendant prior to his arrest. State v. Levan, 326 N.C. 155, 388 S.E.2d 429 (1990).
Defendant did not have reasonable expectation of privacy within his jail cell and search during which a letter defendant had written to his brother, asking the brother to commit perjury at his trial, was seized was proper. State v. Martin, 322 N.C. 229, 367 S.E.2d 618 (1988).
Warrantless Strip Search Proper. - Because a reasonable person would have understood from the circumstances and exchanges between the officers and defendant that police intended to conduct a strip search of defendant's person, and she consented to the strip search without withdrawing that consent at any time, the trial court properly denied her motion to suppress the evidence seized. State v. Neal, 190 N.C. App. 453, 660 S.E.2d 586 (2008).
Strip searches of defendant's person conducted incident to defendant's arrest were reasonable and did not violate N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 privacy interests; although the strip searches were intrusive, they were conducted in a discreet manner and in a discreet location, away from the roadside, and were limited in scope to finding drugs on defendant's person. State v. Fowler, 220 N.C. App. 263, 725 S.E.2d 624 (2012).
Search Incident to Lawful Arrest. - Defendant's motion to suppress evidence of statements he made to deputies was properly denied because an informant's detailed information regarding a shooting was sufficiently corroborated by reliable and credible evidence, which established probable cause to arrest defendant. State v. Brown, 199 N.C. App. 253, 681 S.E.2d 460 (2009).
Cigarette Butts. - Defendant's cigarette butt was admissible because defendant abandoned the item in defendant's home's curtilage by giving the item to an officer who offered to dispose of the item, after defendant had been arrested, making the officers' subjective intent in executing a valid arrest warrant, when the cigarette butt was seized, including any deception, irrelevant. State v. Borders, 236 N.C. App. 149, 762 S.E.2d 490 (2014).
Officer's seizure of defendant's discarded cigarette butt from the parking lot near his apartment without a warrant did not violate his constitutional rights because the parking lot was not located in the curtilage of defendant's building, as it was not enclosed, it was used for parking by both the building's residents and the general public, and it was only protected in a limited way. State v. Williford, 239 N.C. App. 123, 767 S.E.2d 139 (2015).
Because defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the parking lot, by dropping the cigarette butt in the lot he was deemed to have abandoned any interest in it. Because defendant voluntarily abandoned the cigarette butt in a public place, the extraction of his DNA from it did not constitute a search. State v. Williford, 239 N.C. App. 123, 767 S.E.2d 139 (2015).
Warrantless Search Upheld. - When officers saw liquid in containers generally used to contain and transport non-taxpaid liquor, under the circumstances then existing they had sufficient reasonable cause to believe that the jars contained non-taxpaid liquor to justify the seizure of the contraband without a search warrant. State v. Simmons, 278 N.C. 468, 180 S.E.2d 97 (1971).
Supreme Court of North Carolina held that both the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred in suppressing evidence seized during a warrantless search of defendant's automobile some 20 hours after an officer, who knew defendant and was familiar with her vehicle, received information that the automobile contained several one-fourth ounce packages of marijuana; the search was not illegal, and the evidence seized should not have been suppressed. State v. Isleib, 319 N.C. 634, 356 S.E.2d 573 (1987).
Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence of alleged contraband that was seized from defendant, as the police officer's observance very early one morning of defendant's vehicle parked on the shoulder of a road near a mobile home park into which another man had just fled gave the officer reasonable suspicion and justified the investigatory stop and detention of defendant; in addition, defendant's actions in "digging" through his glove compartment and searching around the interior of the vehicle made the officer's subsequent pat-down search of defendant permissible, at which time the officer discovered the alleged contraband defendant was carrying. State v. Martinez, 158 N.C. App. 105, 580 S.E.2d 54 (2003), cert. denied, 357 N.C. 466, 586 S.E.2d 773 (2003).
It was not unreasonable for authorities to strip defendant and comb through his pubic without search warrant after arresting him for first degree sexual assault, kidnapping and sodomy. Arrest was supported by probable cause and evidence could easily have been concealed or destroyed. State v. Norman, 100 N.C. App. 660, 397 S.E.2d 647 (1990).
Where the search involved a motor vehicle in a public area, the only determination left for review was whether deputy had probable cause to search the van; the trial court found as facts that deputy was sufficiently experienced to make a reliable determination that what he smelled was illegal contraband (white liquor), defendant appeared to deputy to be very nervous, and defendant had placed cardboard over a burned-out window on the van after a tire had caught fire; therefore deputy had reasonable grounds to conclude that the van contained contraband, and that he did not need a warrant to search. State v. Corpening, 109 N.C. App. 586, 427 S.E.2d 892 (1993).
There was reasonable suspicion to justify officer's search of defendant based on a telephone tip and the officer's observations of defendant. In re Whitley, 122 N.C. App. 290, 468 S.E.2d 610 (1996).
Where the incriminating evidence seized was immediately apparent to the officer, the cocaine was properly seized and admitted into evidence. In re Whitley, 122 N.C. App. 290, 468 S.E.2d 610 (1996).
The defendant's motion to suppress was properly denied where the detectives' prior knowledge of local drug activity, coupled with their 1:00 a.m. observations at the address as well as the circumstances surrounding defendant's actions, provided a sufficient basis for those experienced law enforcement officers to draw a reasonable inference "that criminal activity was afoot," id., thus warranting the investigative stop. State v. Parker, 137 N.C. App. 590, 530 S.E.2d 297 (2000).
Where defendant's arrest was lawfully based on the fruits of a valid pat down search, the warrantless search of his person incident to the arrest, which yielded marijuana and crack cocaine, was likewise constitutional; the initial check point stop and the driver's consent to the search of his vehicle provided sufficient constitutional justification for defendant's removal from the car, and the following facts supported the constitutionality of the pat down search: The long, narrow bulge in defendant's front pants pocket, his belligerent attitude toward the detectives, his apparent intoxication, and the driver's claim that he did not know defendant's name. State v. Pulliam, 139 N.C. App. 437, 533 S.E.2d 280 (2000).
Trial court properly concluded that a warrantless search conducted after a police officer and a detective entered a hotel room was not illegal where the detective had received information that the occupants of the room possessed drugs, the detective detected and observed behavior by the room's occupants indicative of drug-related criminal activity, and scales similar to those often used by dealers to measure quantities of illegal narcotics were in plain view. State v. Harper, 158 N.C. App. 595, 582 S.E.2d 62 (2003), cert. denied, 357 N.C. 509, 588 S.E.2d 372 (2003).
Trial court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress drugs obtained during a warrantless search of his car, as the drugs were found during a search incident to a lawful arrest supported by probable cause after verification of an informant's tip as to the vehicle, the perpetrator, and the location and approximate time of the alleged drug activity. State v. Collins, 160 N.C. App. 310, 585 S.E.2d 481 (2003), aff'd, 358 N.C. 135, 591 S.E.2d 518 (2004).
Evidence obtained in a warrantless search of defendant's vehicle was admissible where the officer had a reasonable, articulable suspicion to believe that defendant was committing an implied consent offense based on the facts that defendant's car was weaving combined with the unusual hour and the location, in an area near bars, and the search of defendant's car was lawful based on the fact that it was admittedly consensual and not tainted by an unlawful detention. State v. Jacobs, 162 N.C. App. 251, 590 S.E.2d 437 (2004).
Where defendant was suspected of committing two sexual assaults and a third was reported in the area from which defendant was observed traveling at about 4:00 a.m., when it was snowing and no other vehicles were on the road, police had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity allowing them to conduct an investigatory stop of defendant's vehicle, and defendant's expired license plate independently allowed the stop. State v. Edwards, 164 N.C. App. 130, 595 S.E.2d 213 (2004), cert. denied, 358 N.C. 735, 603 S.E.2d 879 (2004).
Defendant's motion to suppress tangible evidence obtained when an officer chased him into a premises was properly denied because defendant's earlier presence in and accessibility to the premises was insufficient to establish the requisite privacy interest for the Fourth Amendment. State v. McNeil, 165 N.C. App. 777, 600 S.E.2d 31 (2004).
Investigatory stop supported by evidence that defendant and another were observed loitering at a closed shopping center shortly before midnight wearing dark clothing in an area targeted by law enforcement officers as a high crime area, that no other vehicles were in the shopping center parking lot, and that when a vehicle defendant recognized as a law enforcement vehicle appeared, the men abruptly and hurriedly returned to their vehicle, together with the other detailed findings of fact articulated by the trial court, which adequately supported the officers' reasonable belief that defendant and the other man were involved in criminal activity. State v. Blackstock, 165 N.C. App. 50, 598 S.E.2d 412 (2004), cert. denied, - N.C. - , 610 S.E.2d 208 (2005), appeal dismissed, cert. denied, - N.C. - , 610 S.E.2d 208 (2005).
Defendant's conviction for second-degree murder was upheld on appeal, because defendant failed to show any prejudice with regard to the trial court's admission of a gun residue test over defendant's objection, because defendant did not object to the admission of any statements made during the test, only the test results itself, and the trial court's finding that exigent circumstances existed was supported by the evidence in that the test had to have been administered within a few hours of the shooting and defendant admitted he was one of the last to have seen the victim alive. State v. Page, 169 N.C. App. 127, 609 S.E.2d 432 (2005).
Police had reasonable suspicion that defendant was transporting drugs, and their warrantless stop of defendant's van was proper, where a confidential informant told police that defendant would be transporting drugs and defendant was seen by police driving the van described by the informant along the suspected drug route; after the stop, defendant's consent for an officer to enter the van and the odor of cocaine smelled by the officer inside the van justified the officers' warrantless search of the van. State v. Downing, 169 N.C. App. 790, 613 S.E.2d 35 (2005).
Evidence that defendant was extremely nervous and refused to make eye contact, that an air freshener smell came from the vehicle, that the vehicle was not registered to the occupants, and that there was a disagreement between defendant and the passenger about the trip, provided law enforcement with the reasonable suspicion necessary to conduct the exterior canine sniff. State v. Euceda-Valle, 182 N.C. App. 268, 641 S.E.2d 858 (2007), cert. denied, appeal dismissed, 361 N.C. 698, 652 S.E.2d 923 (2007), State v. Euceda-Valle, 182 N.C. App. 268, 641 S.E.2d 858 (2007).
Where an officer observed defendant drive over a curb, back away from the officer, and reach into a pocket in a location known for drug activity, defendant's motion to suppress was properly denied because the officer had reasonable suspicion to make an investigatory stop and had probable cause to seize a film canister from defendant's pocket during a pat-down for weapons based on, inter alia, defendant's actions, the area's reputation, and the officer's prior experiences. State v. Robinson, 189 N.C. App. 454, 658 S.E.2d 501 (2008).
Defendant's convictions for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, attempted first degree murder, and armed robbery were affirmed because the trial court did not err by denying defendant's suppression motion; since neither the driver nor any of the passengers had a driver's license or other form of identification in their possession, the trooper could not quickly resolve the issues arising from the initial traffic stop. State v. Hernandez, 208 N.C. App. 591, 704 S.E.2d 55 (2010).
Stop of defendant's vehicle was reasonable despite the investigator's good faith mistake as to the identity of the driver because although the investigators did not personally observe defendant selling narcotics, the specific and articulable facts, as well as the rational inferences from those facts, as viewed through the eyes of a reasonable, cautious officer, guided by his experience and training were sufficient to create a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot to justify a brief investigatory stop of defendant's vehicle. State v. Williams, 209 N.C. App. 255, 703 S.E.2d 905 (2011), review denied 365 N.C. 188, 707 S.E.2d 237, 2011 N.C. LEXIS 231 (2011).
Officer acted reasonably under N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 in making a warrantless entry into a home where defendant was found with marijuana plants because the officer was looking for a parent of a small child found naked and alone at the side of a nearby road, no one responded to knocking on the front door, and the rear door was ajar. State v. Cline, 205 N.C. App. 676, 696 S.E.2d 554 (2010).
Warrantless search did not violate defendant's rights, because the officer had probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity was located on defendant's person when he felt something hard between defendant's buttocks outside of defendant's clothing, and the officer had observed various drug-related items in the vehicle in which defendant was riding and defendant made furtive movements toward his pants. State v. Robinson, 221 N.C. App. 267, 727 S.E.2d 712 (2012).
Strip search was reasonable because the troopers search the car and defendant's outer clothing without finding the source of the marijuana odor, which was still strong, and the officers took reasonable steps to protect defendant's privacy. State v. Johnson, 225 N.C. App. 440, 737 S.E.2d 442 (2013).
Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress as the officers warrantless entry into defendant's residence and arrest of defendant was proper because the officers had reasonable suspicion to initiate an investigatory stop of defendant for driving while his license was revoked in front of defendant's residence; and the officers properly pursued defendant into his residence to arrest him for resisting a public officer when he did not obey their orders to stop as the officers had probable cause to arrest defendant for resisting a public officer and began a hot pursuit of defendant, which was one of the exigent circumstances delineated by the courts. State v. Adams, - N.C. App. - , 794 S.E.2d 357 (2016), review denied, 797 S.E.2d 15, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 181 (2017); cert. dismissed, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 336 (N.C. 2017).
In a case in which defendant was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon, the trial court did not err by denying defendant's motion to suppress the evidence seized at the time of his arrest. The appellate court concluded that the undisputed facts and circumstances known to the police officer supported the conclusion that the officer had the requisite reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop of defendant's car, and that the trial court's findings of fact supported this conclusion as well. State v. Evans, - N.C. App. - , 795 S.E.2d 444 (2017).
Warrantless Search Held Improper. - Following defendant's guilty plea to felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia under a plea agreement in which defendant preserved his right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress pursuant to G.S. § 15A-979(b), the appellate court affirmed the denial of the suppression motion; pursuant to N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, a police officer had probable cause to stop defendant's vehicle based on the officer's observation of defendant speeding, and under the totality of the circumstances, including defendant's extreme nervousness, the officer had reasonable grounds to frisk defendant. State v. McRae, 154 N.C. App. 624, 573 S.E.2d 214 (2002).
Policeman's action in entering the back porch and looking through defendant's window was an unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, § 20 of the North Carolina Constitution; thus, the items seized in a subsequent search of the apartment were tainted by the unlawful search. State v. Wooding, 117 N.C. App. 109, 449 S.E.2d 760 (1994).
Due to the paucity of the evidence presented by the State, the appellate court agreed with the defendant that crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia seized by a police officer at the hospital while he was visiting and interviewing the wounded defendant should have been suppressed, because the warrantless seizure and search of wads of brown paper uncovered as nurse undressed defendant was unconstitutional. State v. Graves, 135 N.C. App. 216, 519 S.E.2d 770 (1999).
Although an officer's stop of a vehicle in which defendant was a passenger was supported by reasonable suspicion based on the officer's observation of the vehicle speeding, the officer's search of defendant's person exceeded the scope of defendant's consent; after defendant gave the officer consent to search his person, the officer pulled defendant's sweat pants away from defendant's body and trained his flashlight on defendant's groin area, where he saw the top of a pill bottle. State v. Stone, 179 N.C. App. 297, 634 S.E.2d 244 (2006).
Officer lacked reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity to support the stop and frisk of defendant under Terry; the report that the officer received only indicated that a black male had committed armed robbery, a description that fit a substantial percentage of the population, and there was no further description as to age, physical characteristics, or clothing. State v. Cooper, 186 N.C. App. 100, 649 S.E.2d 664 (2007).
Officer unreasonably detained the defendant after completing a traffic stop of the defendant's cousin, the driver of the car defendant was riding in, because the cousin's nervousness, in the context of the circumstances, did not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion necessary to justify further detention; among other things, the officer did not detect alcohol and found no contraband or weapons, and the fact that the rental car the defendant had rented was one day overdue did not raise the officer's suspicions. State v. Myles, 188 N.C. App. 42, 654 S.E.2d 752 (2008), aff'd, 362 N.C. 344, 661 S.E.2d 732 (2008).
Defendant was entitled to the suppression of evidence obtained from an investigatory stop and subsequent searches of defendant's jacket and car because the police officer who stopped defendant could supply no facts to support a reasonable suspicion that a crime was afoot when he stopped defendant; moreover, defendant's resistance and flight and flight from the officer was not be used as retroactive justification for the stop. State v. Hayes, 188 N.C. App. 313, 655 S.E.2d 726 (2008).
Trial court erred by denying defendant's motion to suppress the drug and weapon contraband found in his hotel room as his Fourth Amendment rights were violated as a result of the police accompanying a hotel manager into his room and discovering the contraband when no exigent circumstances existed nor did defendant consent to the entry by the police. State v. McBennett, 191 N.C. App. 734, 664 S.E.2d 51 (2008).
Trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence a deputy obtained during a traffic stop of his vehicle because the deputy's stop of the vehicle based only on his "unparticularized suspicion or hunch" did not meet the minimal level of objective justification necessary for the traffic stop, and the deputy did not articulate, and the trial court did not find, any specific facts about the vehicle itself which would justify the stop; trial court's general findings that defendant's presence at that time of night in a partially developed subdivision during a time where numerous copper thefts had been reported in the county did not support the trial court's conclusion of law that the deputy had reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was afoot. State v. Chlopek, 209 N.C. App. 358, 704 S.E.2d 563 (2011).
Trial court erred in denying defendant juvenile's motion to suppress because the seizure of marijuana from defendant's person was illegal; when the officers began questioning defendant she was seized, and when the officer ordered defendant to empty her pockets he conducted a search for which probable cause was lacking and was not incident to arrest or custody. In re V.C.R., 227 N.C. App. 80, 742 S.E.2d 566 (2013).
Although the officers had probable cause to search the vehicle when they detected the odor of marijuana on the driver side of the vehicle, probable cause to search the vehicle did not amount to probable cause to search defendant, a passenger in the vehicle. State v. Malunda, 230 N.C. App. 355, 749 S.E.2d 280 (2013).
There was insufficient evidence to support the trial court's conclusion that the search of defendant's person was supported by probable cause particularized with respect to defendant as the officers detected the odor of marijuana on the driver side of the vehicle and discovered marijuana in the driver side door, but an officer testified that he did not notice an odor of marijuana on the passenger side of the vehicle or on defendant; and there was nothing linking the marijuana to defendant besides his presence in the vehicle. State v. Malunda, 230 N.C. App. 355, 749 S.E.2d 280 (2013).
Voluntary Consent. - Where defendant gave trooper permission to search the entire contents of defendant's suitcase and did not retract or limit the consent, the trooper had defendant's consent to open package of cocaine contained therein, and the trial court did not err in allowing the contents of the package into evidence at trial. State v. Jones, 96 N.C. App. 389, 386 S.E.2d 217 (1989), appeal dismissed, 326 N.C. 366, 389 S.E.2d 809 (1990).
In appeal from conviction for trafficking based upon drugs found in defendant's car after trooper had stopped car on suspicion that the driver was impaired, fact that trooper's conversation with defendant about driver's identity resulted in defendant giving his voluntary consent to a search of the car did not support defendant's arguments that trooper exceeded the permissible scope of his investigation. State v. Jones, 96 N.C. App. 389, 386 S.E.2d 217 (1989), appeal dismissed, 326 N.C. 366, 389 S.E.2d 809 (1990).
Where defendant gave consent to the search of defendant's vehicle while defendant was seated in the patrol car with the officer who was writing defendant's traffic citation, the consent was validly given pursuant to G.S. § 15A-222, N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, and U.S. Const., Amend. IV; the officer read a consent form to defendant which defendant signed, and defendant stated that defendant believed defendant was free to leave after the citation was issued. State v. Hernandez, 170 N.C. App. 299, 612 S.E.2d 420 (2005).
Girlfriend's consent to search defendant's residence was voluntary where there was no evidence that defendant's girlfriend, who was in the hospital with shoulder pain at the time she gave consent, was not in possession of her mental faculties at the time consent was given. State v. Watson, 179 N.C. App. 228, 634 S.E.2d 231 (2006), review denied, 361 N.C. 437, 649 S.E.2d 896 (2007).
Defendant's right against an unconstitutional search and seizure was not violated when the officers searched defendant's shop as: (1) defendant's girlfriend, who had lived with him for 13 years, consented to the search; (2) the shop was located within the curtilage of the house; (3) the officers had no reason to question the girlfriend's authority to consent to a search of the shop; and (4) the girlfriend's consent was voluntary. State v. Watkins, 181 N.C. App. 502, 640 S.E.2d 409 (2007), appeal dismissed, 361 N.C. 436, 649 S.E.2d 896 (2007).
Because Miranda warnings were not required before defendant consented to a search of a vehicle, and because any error in admitting the fruits of the search was harmless, the trial court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress. State v. Cummings, 188 N.C. App. 598, 656 S.E.2d 329 (2008), review denied, 362 N.C. 364, 661 S.E.2d 743 (2008).
Trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence detectives seized during a search of an outbuilding that was within the curtilage of defendant's residence after he consented to a search of his property because defendant expressly consented to a search of all of the personal or real property and did not contest that the outbuilding was located within the curtilage of his residence, and the search of the outbuilding was within the scope of consent; the property included the interior of the mobile home and also outbuildings located within the curtilage of the residence, and defendant made no objection to the search of the outbuilding. State v. Hagin, 203 N.C. App. 561, 691 S.E.2d 429 (2010).
Dissent's argument that defendant was merely a passenger and would not feel free to leave or deny consent to search the vehicle since the record did not show that he knew that the driver had received his license and a warning ticket was rejected as defendant was the owner of the vehicle and his driver's license had been returned to him before the request was made for his consent to search the vehicle; the vehicle search was consensual under the Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const., amend. IV, and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20. State v. Heien, 226 N.C. App. 280, 741 S.E.2d 1 (2013), aff'd 367 N.C. 163, 749 S.E.2d 278, 2013 N.C. LEXIS 1157 (2013).
Vehicle search was proper under the Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const., amend. IV, and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20 since defendant was aware that the purpose of the initial stop had been concluded and that further conversation was consensual where: (1) the traffic stop was initiated at 7:55:40 A.M. and defendant gave his consent to search at 8:08 A.M.; (2) during that time, the two officers had discussed the malfunctioning brake light with the driver, had discovered that the two claimed to be going to different destinations and had seen defendant behave bizarrely by lying down on the backseat under a blanket, even after an officer requested his driver's license; (3) defendant had his license back before the request to search the vehicle was made; (4) the officers' tone and manner were conversational and non-confrontational; and (5) neither defendant nor the driver were restrained, no guns were drawn and neither individual was searched before the request to search the vehicle was made. State v. Heien, 226 N.C. App. 280, 741 S.E.2d 1 (2013), aff'd 367 N.C. 163, 749 S.E.2d 278, 2013 N.C. LEXIS 1157 (2013).
Reasonable Suspicion Found. - Officer had reasonable suspicion to approach defendant juvenile because defendant screamed an obscenity at him; while merely stating an obscenity to another individual, whether that person is a policeman or a civilian, may be protected speech, an officer is not precluded from approaching any individual who is standing in public and yelling obscenities, as such actions might lead to a breach of the peace. In re V.C.R., 227 N.C. App. 80, 742 S.E.2d 566 (2013).
Officer had reasonable suspicion to approach defendant juvenile and her companions because the officer had something more than reasonable suspicion that defendant was in violation of G.S. § 14-313(c); the officer saw defendant smoking a cigarette while carrying a pack of cigarettes in her hand and verified that defendant was only fifteen years old. In re V.C.R., 227 N.C. App. 80, 742 S.E.2d 566 (2013).
III. SEARCH WARRANTS.
What Warrants Are Prohibited. - Judicial warrants, general in terms and unsupported by preliminary oath or sworn evidence and for conduct not committed in the immediate presence of the magistrate, are forbidden by the federal Constitution and by this section. Brewer v. Wynne, 163 N.C. 319, 79 S.E. 629, 1915B Ann. Cas. 319 (1913).
The general warrants against which this constitutional provision speaks did not specify items to be searched for or persons to be arrested, nor were they supported by showings of probable cause that any particular crime had been committed. State v. Richards, 294 N.C. 474, 242 S.E.2d 844 (1978).
This section proscribes warrants that empower officials to search for evidence of a particular offense without specifically naming the person against whom the offense is charged, the particular place to be searched or the items to be seized. Brooks v. Taylor Tobacco Enters., Inc., 39 N.C. App. 529, 251 S.E.2d 656, rev'd on other grounds, 298 N.C. 759, 260 S.E.2d 419 (1979).
Anticipatory Warrant - Three requirements that must be observed before a search is executed pursuant to an anticipatory search warrant: (1) the anticipatory warrant must set out, on its face, explicit, clear, and narrowly drawn triggering events which must occur before execution may take place; (2) those triggering events, from which probable cause arises, must be (a) ascertainable, and (b) preordained, meaning that the property is on a sure and irreversible course to its destination; and finally, (3) no search may occur unless and until the property does, in fact, arrive at that destination. State v. Baldwin, 161 N.C. App. 382, 588 S.E.2d 497 (2003).
An anticipatory warrant to search the premises when an intercepted package containing contraband was delivered was properly executed where: (1) the warrant clearly established explicit triggering events on its face which were definable and preordained; (2) although the package was no longer in the house when the search occurred, the package was delivered, accepted, and taken into the house by defendant; (3) the delivery of the package linked the house to criminal activity inside, giving rise to probable cause for the search; and (4) the warrant specifically allowed the officers to search the premises to find and seize cocaine generally and to identify the participants of the crime; thus, a trial court correctly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to the anticipatory search warrant. State v. Baldwin, 161 N.C. App. 382, 588 S.E.2d 497 (2003).
Anticipatory search warrant sufficiently incorporated by reference the attached affidavit, which clearly identified the triggering events required to execute the warrant, and the two documents could be read together to provide the specificity and particularity required under the U.S. Const., Amend. IV, N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, and G.S. § 15A-246. State v. Carrillo, 164 N.C. App. 204, 595 S.E.2d 219 (2004).
Anticipatory search warrant, which provided that authority for the search contained in the warrant was not commenced until a confidential informant gave a prearranged signal that marijuana was seen at a residence, was valid because (1) the affidavit supporting the warrant was reliable and the information before a trial court was obtained in a reliable manner because the police were able to independently confirm a number of statements the informant made, and the trial court had information before it as to the informant's year-long history of purchasing drugs from defendant, as well as police officers' testimony that they considered the information reliable; (2) the warrant contained clear triggering events; (3) the triggering events were ascertainable and preordained; and (4) no search could have taken place until after those triggering events occurred. State v. Stallings, 189 N.C. App. 376, 657 S.E.2d 915 (2008), appeal dismissed, review denied, 362 N.C. 370, 663 S.E.2d 859 (2008).
Totality of Circumstances Test Adopted. - For resolving questions arising under this section with regard to the sufficiency of probable cause to support the issuance of a search warrant, the Supreme Court of North Carolina adopts the totality of circumstances test of Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 103 S. Ct. 2317, 76 L. Ed. 2d 527 (1983) and Massachusetts v. Upton, 466 U.S. 727, 104 S. Ct. 2085, 80 L. Ed. 2d 721 (1984) and rejects the two-pronged test of Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S. Ct. 1509, 12 L. Ed. 2d 723 (1964) and Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S. Ct. 584, 21 L. Ed. 2d 637 (1969). State v. Arrington, 311 N.C. 633, 319 S.E.2d 254 (1984).
Under the totality of circumstances test, the two prongs of Aguilar and Spinelli - veracity and basis of knowledge - are still relevant, but are not to be accorded independent status. The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a practical, common sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him, including the "veracity" and "basis of knowledge" of persons supplying hearsay information, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place. And the duty of the reviewing court is simply to ensure that the magistrate had a substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed. State v. Arrington, 311 N.C. 633, 319 S.E.2d 254 (1984).
The North Carolina Supreme Court has adopted the "totality of the circumstances" test to determine the sufficiency of probable cause to issue a warrant under this section. State v. Isleib, 80 N.C. App. 599, 343 S.E.2d 234 (1986), rev'd on other grounds, 319 N.C. 634, 356 S.E.2d 573 (1987).
Proper Warrant Required. - Ordinarily even the strong arm of the law may not invade one's dwelling except under authority of a proper search warrant. In re Walters, 229 N.C. 111, 47 S.E.2d 709 (1948); State v. Robbins, 275 N.C. 537, 169 S.E.2d 858 (1969).
An arrest without warrant, except as authorized by statute, is illegal. State v. Moore, 275 N.C. 141, 166 S.E.2d 53 (1969).
After-the-Fact Scrutiny of Affidavit Should Not Be De Novo Review. - After-the-fact scrutiny by courts of the sufficiency of an affidavit in support of a warrant should not take the form of de novo review. State v. Tuggle, 99 N.C. App. 164, 392 S.E.2d 654 (1990).
A warrant must sufficiently identify the person accused. Carson v. Doggett, 231 N.C. 629, 58 S.E.2d 609 (1950).
Particular Description of Things to Be Seized Required. - The requirement that warrants shall particularly describe the things to be seized is to prevent the seizure of one thing under a warrant describing another and to leave nothing to the discretion of the officer executing the warrant in determining what is to be taken. State v. Foye, 14 N.C. App. 200, 188 S.E.2d 67 (1972).
Description of Books. - The particularity requirement is to be accorded the most scrupulous exactitude when the things to be seized are books and the basis for the seizure is the ideas which they contain. When First Amendment rights are not involved, the specificity requirement is more flexible. State v. Foye, 14 N.C. App. 200, 188 S.E.2d 67 (1972).
Description of Narcotics. - The words "illegally held narcotic drugs" described the things to be seized with sufficient particularity to prevent the warrant from being a general search warrant within the prohibition of U.S. Const., Amend. IV and this section. State v. Shirley, 12 N.C. App. 440, 183 S.E.2d 880, cert. denied, 279 N.C. 729, 184 S.E.2d 885 (1971).
The description in the search warrant was particular enough to prevent the warrant from being a general search warrant within the prohibition of U.S. Const., Amend. IV and this section where the affidavit upon which it was based referred only to "narcotic drugs, the possession of which is a crime" and did not describe the things to be seized with more particularity. State v. Foye, 14 N.C. App. 200, 188 S.E.2d 67 (1972).
Incorporation of Affidavit. - Where an affidavit complied with the provisions of the applicable statute and met the constitutional standard of reasonableness and probable cause requisite to the issuance of a search warrant, the search warrant, by reference to the affidavit, which was made a part of the warrant, described with reasonable certainty the premises to be searched, sufficiently indicated the basis for the finding of probable cause, and sufficiently described the contraband for which the search was to be conducted. State v. Murphy, 15 N.C. App. 420, 190 S.E.2d 361 (1972).
Affidavit Sufficient to Find Probable Cause. - Affidavit stating that a confidential informant (CI) bought cocaine from defendant at defendant's house, that the officer knew and trusted the CI, that the CI made a controlled buy from defendant after meeting with the officer, and that the officer witnessed several hand-to-hand transactions between defendant and visitors to defendant's house, provided probable cause to support the issuance of the search warrant. State v. Stokley, 184 N.C. App. 336, 646 S.E.2d 640 (2007), review denied, 362 N.C. 243, 660 S.E.2d 542 (2008).
Police officer's affidavit, based on information from an informant the officer had known for years, was sufficient for the issuance of a search warrant under G.S. § 15A-244 because under the totality of the circumstances the affidavit provided a magistrate with probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant for defendant's home under U.S. Const., Amend. IV and N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20. State v. Edwards, 185 N.C. App. 701, 649 S.E.2d 646 (2007), review denied, 362 N.C. 89, 656 S.E.2d 281 (2007).
In a case in which defendant pled guilty to violating, inter alia, G.S. § 90-95(d)(3) and (a)(1), § 90-113.22, and § 90-108(a)(7), he argued unsuccessfully that there was not a nexus between the presence of drugs in his storage unit and the existence of drugs at his house to provide the requisite probable cause for the search warrant of his residence. There was sufficient evidence offered in support of the search warrant for defendant's residence to provide probable cause to believe that contraband would be found in that location, and, given the circumstances of the case, there was no reason to doubt the informant's reliability and basis of knowledge. State v. Washburn, 201 N.C. App. 93, 685 S.E.2d 555 (2009), review denied 363 N.C. 811, 692 S.E.2d 87 (2010).
Magistrate had a substantial basis to find that probable cause existed to issue the challenged search warrant, where the affidavit stated that, based on the amount of marijuana found in a car the detective stopped, the occupants appeared to be drug dealers, drug dealers typically keep evidence of drug dealing in their homes, the mother of one of the car's occupants stated that her son lived at defendant's address, and her description of the premises matched the actual premises. State v. Allman, 369 N.C. 292, 794 S.E.2d 301 (2016).
Search warrant was supported by probable cause as required by the Fourth Amendment and this section, as the affidavit listed the officer's training and experience, provided defendant's history of drug-related arrests, and stated that the detective had discovered marijuana residue in the trash from defendant's residence, along with correspondence addressed to defendant State v. Lowe, 369 N.C. 360, 794 S.E.2d 282 (2016).
Affidavit Insufficient to Find Probable Cause. - Where the affidavit contained a mere naked assertion that the informant at some time saw a "room full of marijuana" growing in the defendant's house, and the officer affiant made no attempt to corroborate the informant's story, but merely verified that the defendant lived in the house in question, the affidavit did not contain sufficient information on which to find probable cause, nor could the evidence seized as a result of the search be admitted under the "good faith exception" to the exclusionary rule in view of the fact that the officer took no reasonable steps to comply with U.S. Const., Amend. IV. State v. Newcomb, 84 N.C. App. 92, 351 S.E.2d 565 (1987).
Evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant was properly suppressed because, inter alia, the affidavit supporting the search warrant merely stated that the confidential informant had visited the described location and made controlled purchases of cocaine at the location, without particularly stating which, if any, of the two dwellings the informant entered to make the purchases. In addition, the special agent had only been working in law enforcement for two years at the time the agent applied for the search warrant, and failed to include facts regarding whether the agent observed the transactions between the confidential informant and the seller, thereby failing to establish the identity of the seller as defendant. State v. Taylor, 191 N.C. App. 587, 664 S.E.2d 421 (2008).
Affidavit was not sufficient to support a finding of probable cause, because the affiadavit contained false information, including a statement that a new information had proven reliable in the past, when the officer's testimony clearly showed that he had not had any sort of prior relationship with the informant and knew little or nothing about him. State v. Jackson, 220 N.C. App. 1, 727 S.E.2d 322 (2012).
Under the totality of the circumstances, the search warrant affidavit for defendant's home failed to provide a substantial basis for the magistrate to conclude that probable cause existed, and therefore the appellate court properly affirmed the trial court's order granting defendant's motion to suppress, because the officers' verification of mundane information, a detective's statements regarding defendant's utility records, and the officers' observations of defendant's gardening supplies were not sufficiently corroborative of the anonymous tip of an indoor marijuana growing operation or otherwise sufficient to establish probable, notwithstanding the officers' professional training and experience. State v. Benters, 367 N.C. 660, 766 S.E.2d 593 (2014).
Detective's affidavit did not allege sufficient facts to support the existence of probable cause to search defendant's residence, which she shared with her boyfriend and his brother, where the circumstances in the affidavit that the boyfriend and his brother were engaged in drug dealing and had lied to officers about where they lived were insufficient to establish probable cause that evidence of illegal activity existed at the residence. State v. Allman, - N.C. App. - , 781 S.E.2d 311 (2016), rev'd on other grounds, 2016 N.C. LEXIS 1114 (2016).
While the special agent did not act in bad faith when she submitted her application for a search warrant and attached the affidavit for determination of probable cause, the affidavit failed to establish the required nexus between the object sought, evidence of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory, and the place to be searched, as there was no evidence that the place alleged was defendant's residence or that any subject objects were there. State v. Parson, - N.C. App. - , 791 S.E.2d 528 (2016).
Production of Search Warrant. - Where a search is made under conditions requiring the issuance of a search warrant, and the State attempts, over objection, to justify the search and seizure by the possession of a valid search warrant, the State must produce the search warrant, or if it has been lost, must prove such fact and then introduce evidence to show its contents and regularity on its face, unless the production of the warrant is waived by the accused. State v. McMilliam, 243 N.C. 771, 92 S.E.2d 202 (1956).
Severable Provisions. - Provisions of warrant which authorized police to search both for drugs and for "stolen goods" were severable, and the police could constitutionally search for the listed drugs or items of the same class, but the warrant could not authorize a general exploratory search of defendant's home and inventory of its contents. State v. Connard, 81 N.C. App. 327, 344 S.E.2d 568 (1986), aff'd, 319 N.C. 392, 354 S.E.2d 238 (1987).
Withdrawal of a blood sample from a person is a search subject to protection by this section. State v. Carter, 322 N.C. 709, 370 S.E.2d 553 (1988).
Under the state constitution, a search warrant must be issued before a blood sample can be obtained, unless probable cause and exigent circumstances exist that would justify a warrantless search. State v. Carter, 322 N.C. 709, 370 S.E.2d 553 (1988).
Blood Sample Taken Without Consent or Search Warrant Unconstitutional. - Where defendant was already in custody, obtaining a sample of his blood pursuant to a nontestimonial identification order under Article 14 of Chapter 15A (G.S. § 15A-271, et seq.), absent his consent or a search warrant, violated his rights under this section to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the evidence should have been suppressed. State v. Carter, 322 N.C. 709, 370 S.E.2d 553 (1988).
Cumulative Evidence Held to Support Determination. - Although no single piece of evidence in the affidavit was conclusive, nevertheless, the information from all three pieces was consistent, and their cumulative evidence supported the determination that there was a "fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime" would be found at the defendant's residence. State v. Tuggle, 99 N.C. App. 164, 392 S.E.2d 654 (1990).
Defendant's Rights Not Violated. - Where probable cause existed to support issuance of search warrant for defendant's hair, saliva, and blood pursuant to G.S. § 15A-242(4), the State did not violate the defendant's rights, under N.C. Const., Art. I, § 20, by failing to obtain a nontestimonial identification order, pursuant to G.S. § 15A-273, or to provide defendant with the right to counsel during the execution of the search warrant, under G.S. § 15A-279(d). State v. Grooms, 353 N.C. 50, 540 S.E.2d 713 (2000), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 838, 122 S. Ct. 93, 151 L. Ed. 2d 54 (2001).
While defendant was an overnight guest in the premises searched pursuant to a search warrant, he did not show that he personally had an expectation of privacy there, or that such an expectation was reasonable; therefore, he had no standing to object to the search of the premises. State v. Sanchez, 147 N.C. App. 619, 556 S.E.2d 602 (2001), cert. denied, 355 N.C. 220, 560 S.E.2d 358 (2002).
When, after a proper investigatory stop and protective search of defendant's vehicle, money, gloves and headgear from rapes and robberies he had committed were observed in plain view, a magistrate had probable cause to issue warrants to search defendant's home, business, vehicle, and person. State v. Edwards, 164 N.C. App. 130, 595 S.E.2d 213 (2004), cert. denied, 358 N.C. 735, 603 S.E.2d 879 (2004).
Affidavit Sufficient to Support Finding of Probable Cause Despite Alleged False Statements Contained Therein. - Affidavit containing allegedly false statements was not invalid where other statements supported finding of probable cause; among other things, the unchallenged statements showed that 20 different sources complained to police about criminal activity at the subject residence and a confidential informant made a controlled buy of cocaine at the residence. State v. Boyd, 177 N.C. App. 165, 628 S.E.2d 796 (2006).
Stop of Vehicle After Defendant Turned Away Just Prior to Checkpoint. - Denial of motion to suppress was upheld as totality of circumstances justified officer's pursuing and stopping defendant's vehicle to inquire as to why defendant turned away before checkpoint. In addition to the fact of defendant's legal turn immediately prior to the checkpoint, the following facts combined to allow the officer to make a reasonable inquiry to determine whether defendant was trying to evade the checkpoint: (1) the late hour; (2) the sudden braking of the truck when defendant crested the hill and could see the checkpoint, to the point that the headlights dipped as the front of the truck dove towards the street; (3) the abruptness of defendant's turn into the nearest apartment parking lot; and (4) defendant's behavior in first backing the truck into one space, pulling out and proceeding towards the parking lot exit, and then re-parking when he spotted the patrol car approaching him. State v. Bowden, 177 N.C. App. 718, 630 S.E.2d 208 (2006); State v. Hester, - N.C. App. - , - S.E.2d - (July 18, 2017).