On March 10, 1987, a man was convicted of burglary in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, petit larceny, tampering with a witness in the third degree, criminal trespass in the second degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, possession of burglary tools and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said he immediately filed an appeal requesting that his conviction be reversed.
He contends that the trial court committed an error when they refused to allow the defendant to present evidence that he felt was exculpatory to his case. His contention was that his ex-girlfriend, who testified against him was not a reliable witness. He stated that although in trial, she had testified that she was no longer using drugs, that was a lie. He contends that at the time of the trial, she was still using drugs and that the needle marks on her arms were proof of that fact. He states that her testimony that she witnessed the burglary and then he threatened her if she ever told on him was not trustworthy because of her addiction. He further maintained that criminal trespass is a lesser included offense to the felony offense of burglary. He stated that since it is a lesser included offense, that he should not have received a sentence on it separate from the burglary. On this one contention, the justices agreed and reversed his conviction for criminal trespass.
As far as intimidating a witness, the facts of this count of his conviction are uncontested. Directly after committing the offense, the man threatened her about telling anyone what he had done. He intimated that she would encounter violence if she ever told anyone about the burglary. The defendant contends that this threat does not constitute intimidation of a witness because she was not a witness against him at the time. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the offense had occurred after his arrest, then he would have been guilty of attempting to influence a witness. Since it did not occur after the arrest, but before it, he was not intimidating a witness. The justices agree. This count of the charges are overturned and vacated.
On his other contentions, the justices were not so generous. They determined that the prosecution had proven in court that the fresh needle marks on the woman’s arms were from medical tests that had been performed in a doctor’s office and were not from illicit drug crimes. The defendant therefore does not have a valid claim in this regard. They also determined that the defendant’s contention that one cannot commit the crime of burglary without burglary tools was interesting, but not convincing. The justices decided that in this case, burglary tools, was not a lesser included offense of burglary. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said the reason that they made this determination was because a person can be charged with possession of burglary tools completely independent of any conviction of burglary and vice versa. Because of this, the justices decided that the conviction for possession of burglar’s tools and criminal possession of a weapon would remain intact.
Many times a person is charged with all of the lesser-included offenses as well as the more serious felony charges. The reason for this is to give the prosecutorial team, something to bargain with. When a person is convicted, it is rare that a jury will convict him of all of the lesser-included offenses as they did in this case. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said the appeals court was correct in revising his sentencing. The intention of the law is not to “stack” cases on a defendant, but to allow that the person met the criteria for arrest on that crime, and to have the attorneys determine if the elements of the crime preclude the conviction on the lesser included offenses.
t is important that anyone who thinks that they have been charged with a drug crime, sex crime, or theft charge contact a Queens Criminal Lawyer. A Queens Drug Lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair trial.