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NORTH CAROLINA V. RICE, 404 U. S. 244 (1971)

U.S. Supreme Court

North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244 (1971)

North Carolina v. Rice

No. 70-77

Argued October 12, 1971

Decided December 14, 1971

404 U.S. 244


Respondent was convicted in a General County Court in North Carolina of driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment and payment of a fine. On appeal, he was tried de novo in the Superior Court, found guilty, and given a two-year sentence. The District Court denied habeas corpus, and respondent, who by then had been completely discharged from prison, appealed to the Court of Appeals. That court, relying on North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U. S. 711, held that the case was not mooted by respondent's discharge, and that respondent was entitled to have the record of his conviction expunged.

Held: North Carolina v. Pearce, supra, does not require that respondent's conviction be invalidated, but only that he be resentenced if the higher sentence imposed after the de novo trial was vulnerable under Pearce. Since the present record deals with the mootness issue only from the standpoint of conviction vel non, and does not reveal whether, under state law, benefits accrue to respondent in having his sentence reduced after he has served it, the case is remanded for reconsideration of the mootness question.

434 F.2d 297, vacated and remanded.

Page 404 U. S. 245

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