State v. Raymond Burke. Per curiam affirmed.
Summary of COA:
Defendant stopped when officer notes that his 30-day tag appears to be
different (different numbers) than other 30-day tags he's seen and the
officer believes it is fictitious. When the defendant went into his
glove box to get his registration, the officer saw a handgun. Defendant
was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. Then the defendant
confessed to having ecstasy and cocaine.
stop was not valid. The officer lacked reasonable articulable suspicion
for the stop. Here, there was no evidence that the 30-day tag was old,
worn or concealed. The officer simply believed the numbers were "too
low." This was inadequate reasonable suspicion for the stop. (Note: The
tag was valid.)
Evidence should have been suppressed. Reversed and vacated.
State v. Omar Mbacke.
Defendant filed an MAR based on Gant,
a newer Supreme Court case that says you cannot search a car incident
to arrest, if the defendant is outside of the car. A car can only be
searched if probable cause exists to believe there is evidence of crime
in it. Defendant was arrested for DWLR
and possession of a concealed weapon (on his person).
COA Decision: All the evidence
that could exist for those crimes are on his person, not in the car. As
such, it was improper, under Gant to conduct the warrantless search of the car.
NCSC Decision: Reversed. Under Gant, can only search if the defendant is unsecured and within reaching distance of the passenger compartment (no here) or if police have "reason to believe" that the vehicle might contain evidence of the crime of arrest. This is a standard lower than probable cause and is similar to Terry. Given the defendant's "furtive behavior" and his closing of his car door, police did reasonably believe "additional evidence of the offense of arrest" could be found in the defendant's vehicle. The court does not what that additional evidence might have consisted of.
The court went on to say that arrest for concealed weapon will not always justify a search.
Justice Timmons-Goodson dissents.