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.
__:__. 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.
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.
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.
Investigative Stops: Motor Vehicles: Probable Cause. A
traffic violation, no matter how minor, creates probable
cause to stop the driver of a vehicle.
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.
__: __ . 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
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
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
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.
Controlled Substances. To be guilty of possession of a
controlled substance, the defendant must possess the
controlled substance knowingly or intentionally.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: Andrew R.
Jacobsen, Judge. Affirmed.
Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender, and Shawn Elliott
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Joe Meyer for
Chief Judge, and Pirtle and Bishop, Judges.