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Criminal Law

Va. Cir.: Gun seen from beyond “path of consent” will be suppressed (access required)

While officers had the defendant’s explicit consent to search specific rooms in his house and implied consent to take a path leading to those rooms, his firearm was seen only after an officer deviated from that path. Thus, it exceeded ...

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CAV: Any relevant evidence may prove lascivious intent (access required)

No Virginia precedent sets forth specific types of evidence that must be proven to show lascivious intent in a sexual battery case. Such intent may be proven with any evidence that establishes such intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Background Four-year-old ...

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CAV: Two hit-and-run convictions not for same offense (access required)

A defendant’s constitutional right against double jeopardy was not violated by her convictions for both felony murder and felony hit-and-run. Background One morning in September 2014, a woman later identified as Defendant Sarah Flanders drove a red Dodge Durango onto ...

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EDVA: Long-detained immigrant entitled to bond hearing (access required)

A Salvadoran immigrant, detained for the past 14 months while he challenges removal, deserves an individual bond hearing to determine whether flight risk or danger to society justifies his prolonged detention. Background Petitioner Jose Rodriguez Portillo first unlawfully entered the ...

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EDVA: Manafort storage-unit docs won’t be suppressed (access required)

The government obtained valid consent to enter a storage unit containing Paul Manafort’s business documents, obtained a valid warrant to seize some of the documents, and properly executed the warrant. Background On May 26, 2017, Special Agent J. Pfeiffer interviewed ...

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4th Cir.: To trigger Simmons, state argument must look forward (access required)

A serial killer, sentenced to death under North Carolina law, did not have a constitutional right to inform his sentencing jury that he was ineligible for parole. This right, which accrues when the prosecutor points to the defendant’s future danger ...

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Va. Cir.: No prejudice resulted from plea agreement withdrawal (access required)

Despite the defendant’s previous waiver of a preliminary hearing related to drug charges against him, he was not entitled to enforcement of an alleged oral plea agreement with a new prosecutor in his case. Background Defendant Sophann Mao was arrested ...

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Va. Cir.: Misdemeanor conviction bars felony records expungement (access required)

Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute – a misdemeanor – is a lesser-included offense of the felony of distribution of more than half an ounce but less than 5 pounds of marijuana. A petitioner convicted of the misdemeanor was ...

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4th Cir.: Court costs not a “penalty” that supports removal (access required)

An immigrant was not rendered ineligible for cancellation of removal based solely on $100 in court costs that he paid after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. Such costs, which are not discretionary and sometimes are imposed by the court clerk, ...

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4th Cir.: MS-13 murder and related convictions upheld (access required)

Six defendants tried together were properly convicted of murder and attempted murder offenses related to their gang membership. Their convictions were upheld despite challenges to prosecutorial conduct, jury instructions, evidence admitted at trial, joint trial, access to counsel, warrantless cell ...

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