Chapter 05: Judicial Notice
Overview —Based on: DeLong v. State, 310 Ga. App. 518, 2011 Ga. App. LEXIS 605 (2011).
Defendant DeLong challenged a judgment of the trial court, which convicted him of child molestation, violating the Georgia’s Controlled Substances Act by distributing a Schedule IV drug, Zolpidem, which was commonly known as Ambien, and influencing witnesses. The appellate court reviewed the case and determined that the convictions for drug distribution and influencing witnesses could not be sustained. The prosecution failed to prove that the Georgia statute regulated the drug, Ambien. There was no testimony or physical evidence presented by the prosecution that Ambien was the trade name for Zolpidem. Although the prosecution offered evidence that the defendant admitted to distributing Ambien and introduced testimony that “Ambien” was a Schedule IV controlled substance, the defendant contended that the government was required to identify “Ambien” as a trade name for Zolpidem through admissible evidence and that taking judicial notice that Ambien was a trade name for Zolpidem was not appropriate. In essence, defendant DeLong contended that the prosecution failed to prove that he violated the Controlled Substances Act because while Zolpidem was listed as a controlled substance, Ambien was not, and there was no testimony or physical evidence presented by the prosecutor at trial linking Ambien to Zolpidem.