Maybe. At this point, it depends where you are (what state) when law enforcement searches your phone whether your personal information in your phone - such as text messages, emails and location data - can be searched by police without a warrant. Suppressing evidence of a crime because law enforcement did not follow the necessary procedures is often a key component of a criminal defense strategy.
On the docket this November, the Supreme Court of the United States is set to consider several issues related to the Fourth Amendment, search and seizure and criminal defense.
For those who are awaiting trial for a North Carolina felony offense or for those convicted of only a misdemeanor criminal offense, you still maintain your right to vote. If you are convicted of a felony however, you immediately lose that right along with certain other 'citizenship rights.'
In 1998, about 1,400 North Carolina kids were being sent to state training facilities each year after being convicted of or pleading guilty to a criminal offense. Now that number is down to about 300 minors per year entering one of North Carolina's four detention centers. The centers are geared toward education, counseling and treatment rather than incarceration, changes that were recommended in the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1998.
Nearly 100,000 citations were handed out and close to 3,000 DWI arrests made it the statewide "Booze It & Lose It" campaign that ran from August 17 through September 3. Across North Carolina, 7,800 DWI checkpoints were used to stop and search drivers who may be in violation of criminal and traffic laws.
We blogged earlier this week about the U.S. Supreme Court potentially weighing in next session on whether law enforcement can collect DNA samples from people who are arrested and accused of a crime before he or she is actually convicted. North Carolina law currently allows law enforcement to do just that - take a DNA sample once you're arrested.
Alonzo King was arrested for assault in 2009. Under Maryland's DNA Collection Act, law enforcement took a DNA sample from him without a warrant. The Act allows police to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for (not convicted of) certain felony charges, including burglary, attempted burglary, a violent crime or an attempt at a violent crime.
Anyone under the age of 18, whether tried as a juvenile or adult, who is convicted of murder can no longer be sentenced to life without parole without consideration being given to his or her age and the nature of the crime. The Supreme Court recently held, in Miller v. Alabama, that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
George Zimmerman is currently facing criminal charges of second-degree murder relating to the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated Florida community earlier this year. We've previously discussed self defense and North Carolina's Stand Your Ground Law on this blog before; with this post we'd like to focus on the reason Zimmerman's wife, Shellie Zimmerman, is now facing perjury charges.
Just over a year ago, North Carolina began requiring a DNA sample from anyone charged with a higher-level felony offense including, among others, murder, manslaughter, rape, other sex offenses, kidnapping, most felony assaults, stalking and cyberstalking.