NC Supreme Court: to avoid felony charge, arrestees must cough up drugs voluntarily | News | Indy Week
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NC Supreme Court: to avoid felony charge, arrestees must cough up drugs voluntarily

Posted by on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

The N.C. Supreme Court has ruled that individuals brought into jails involuntarily are nevertheless responsible for drugs in their possession. The opinion essentially states that law enforcement officers are not required to explicitly warn arrestees that possessing drugs inside jails is a felony. 

Last month in our story "A pot to piss in" we reported on the oral arguments for the case of Christopher Barnes, of Wayne County. Barnes was arrested on suspicion of a DWI after failing sobriety tests. Goldsboro police officers took him into custody against his will, in handcuffs. Inside the Wayne County Jail a bag of pot dropped out of Barnes' pants, and he was charged with the felony of possession of a controlled substance on the premises of a local confinement facility. 

During oral arguments, Barnes' attorney had argued that the case hinged on free will, and that Barnes should not be charged with the felony because he didn't willfully smuggle the drugs into the jail. In a split decision last year, the Court of Appeals ruled that possession of drugs inside a penal institution does not require specific intent, and that knowledge of the possession qualifies it as a voluntary crime. 

Tags: , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News

Twitter Activity


But what about all those cases of voter fraud? Crickets!

It is heartening that the judges weighed the obvious …

by Steve Bocckino on North Carolina Voter ID Law Is Discriminatory, Federal Appeals Court Rules, Striking It Down (News)

The owners of all the other vacant homes (there are currently 5 on this/our block), are possibly waiting for a …

by Adopter on Is the Durham GOP’s New Headquarters Violating Zoning Laws? (News)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation