Sample Case Brief
Write a Case Brief for Heirs of Goza v. Estate of Potts, 374 S.W.3d 132 (Ark. Ct. App. 2010). Use the following format, make sure that this assinment is in bluebook format as well as cited inbluebook format. must be no more than one page.
Sample Case Brief
State v. Boyd,
595 S.E.2d 697 (N.C. Ct. App. 2004)
Defendant Boyd was convicted of conspiracy to sell a controlled substance but acquitted of the crimes of sale of a controlled substance, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and employing and using a minor to commit a controlled substance offense. He appealed his conviction and sentence. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
Statement of Facts
Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to sell crack cocaine. The evidence at trial showed that Defendant supplied the cocaine to a minor, Hampton, who actually conducted the sale to undercover police officers. At the close of the State’s evidence, Defendant’s attorney did not move to dismiss the conspiracy charge but did move to dismiss all other charges. Counsel renewed all motions at the conclusion of all evidence. The motions were denied. The jury convicted Defendant of the conspiracy charge and acquitted him of the remaining charges. In sentencing the Defendant, the trial judge found as an aggravating factor that Defendant involved a person under the age of 16 in the commission of a crime.
1. May Defendant appeal his conspiracy conviction if he did not make a motion to dismiss the conspiracy charge at trial?
2. If Defendant is acquitted of certain charges relating to a minor, may the minor’s age be considered as an aggravating sentencing factor when Defendant is sentenced for conspiring with a minor to sell a controlled substance?
1. No. On appeal, a Defendant may not attack the sufficiency of evidence at trial unless he makes a motion to dismiss such evidence at trial.
2. Yes. A trial court may consider any aggravating factors that it finds proved by a preponderance of evidence that are reasonably related to the purposes of sentencing.
North Carolina’s rules of appellate procedure provide that to preserve an issue for appeal, a defendant must make a motion to dismiss the action at
trial. Because Defendant’s counsel moved to dismiss all charges against Defendant except the conspiracy charge at the close of the State’s case, at the close of all evidence, he could not renew a nonexistent motion. Thus, the appellate court was precluded from reviewing the merits of Defendant’s argument.
If a defendant is acquitted of a crime, it cannot be used as an aggravating sentencing factor. In this case, Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to sell a controlled substance; thus, Defendant and Hampton were conspirators. Moreover, the parties expressly stipulated that Hampton was a minor. Thus, the trial court could consider Hampton’s age as an aggravating sentencing factor when sentencing Defendant on the conspiracy count.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence.