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State v. Campbell

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 11, 2017

State Of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
AliCia R. Campbell, appellant.

         1. Evidence: Appeal and Error. In reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence claim, whether the evidence is direct, circumstantial, or a combination thereof, the standard is the same: An appellate court does not resolve conflicts in the evidence, pass on the credibility of witnesses, or reweigh the evidence; such matters are for the finder of fact.

         2. __:__. In reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence claim, the relevant question for an appellate court is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

         3. Sentences: Appeal and Error. An appellate court will not disturb a sentence imposed within the statutory limits absent an abuse of discretion by the trial court.

         4. Judgments: Words and Phrases. An abuse of discretion occurs when a trial court's decision is based upon reasons that are untenable or unreasonable or if its action is clearly against justice or conscience, reason, and evidence.

         5. Investigative Stops: Motor Vehicles: Probable Cause. A traffic violation, no matter how minor, creates probable cause to stop the driver of a vehicle.

         6. Constitutional Law: Investigative Stops: Motor Vehicles: Police Officers and Sheriffs. Under Fourth Amendment case law, it is reasonable for an officer to request that a driver sit in the patrol car during a traffic stop.

         7.: __: __: __ . Once a motor vehicle has been lawfully detained for a traffic violation, the police officer may order the driver to get out of the vehicle without violating the Fourth Amendment's proscription of unreasonable searches and seizures.

         8. Investigative Stops: Motor Vehicles: Police Officers and Sheriffs. It is reasonable and lawful for an officer, during a traffic stop, to request that a driver exit his or her vehicle.

         9. Controlled Substances. A person possesses a controlled substance when he or she knows of the nature or character of the substance and of its presence and has dominion or control over it.

         10. Controlled Substances: Evidence: Circumstantial Evidence: Proof. Possession can be either actual or constructive, and constructive possession of an illegal substance may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence.

         11. Controlled Substances. To be guilty of possession of a controlled substance, the defendant must possess the controlled substance knowingly or intentionally.

         12. Controlled Substances: Proof. Mere presence at a place where a controlled substance is found is not sufficient to show constructive possession. Instead, the evidence must show facts and circumstances which affirmatively link the accused to the marijuana and paraphernalia so as to suggest that he or she knew of it and exercised control over it.

         13. Investigative Stops: Motor Vehicles. The fact that one is the driver of a vehicle, particularly over a long period of time, creates an inference of control over items in the vehicle.

         14. Courts: Jurisdiction. While it is not a constitutional prerequisite for jurisdiction, the existence of an actual case or controversy is necessary for the exercise of judicial power.

         15. Moot Question: Words and Phrases. A case becomes moot when the issues initially presented in the litigation cease to exist, when the litigants lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome of litigation, or when the litigants seek to determine a question which does not rest upon existing facts or rights, in which the issues presented are no longer alive.

         16. Convictions: Sentences: Moot Question: Appeal and Error. An appeal from a criminal conviction is not moot, even though a sentence for a criminal conviction has been fully served, when the defendant is subjected to collateral consequences resulting from the criminal conviction.

         Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: Andrew R. Jacobsen, Judge. Affirmed.

          Joe Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender, and Shawn Elliott for appellant.

          Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Joe Meyer for appellee.

          Moore, Chief Judge, and Pirtle and Bishop, Judges.

          ...


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