The People of the State of New York are the respondents of this case. Eric Maier is the appellant of the case. The case is being heard in the Second Department, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendant is appealing a judgment that was issued from the County Court of Suffolk County. The judgment convicts the defendant of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. He is also convicted of failing to stop at a stop sign. The conviction was made by a jury.
The defendant failed to stop at a stop sign. A police officer pulled him over on these grounds. When the officer approached the vehicle of the defendant he smelled marijuana emanating from the car. The officer observed in plain view what he believed to be a crack pipe and a marijuana cigarette.
The officer then searched the vehicle of the defendant. During his search the officer found an unmarked bottle that contained pills that were later determined to be a narcotic. He also found a small bag of marijuana.
The officer placed the defendant in his police car and returned to the car of the defendant to continue the search. The officer located three more bags of what was believed to be marijuana.
The defendant was not charged in respect to the crack pipe or marijuana. He was charged with a fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (drug possession).
Case Discussion and Verdict
During the trial for the defendant, his mother testified to the fact that she had been driving his car earlier in the day and the narcotics that were found in the bottle were hers and she has a legal prescription to obtain these pain pills.
The defendant has made a motion to dismiss the indictment based on the fact that he was not allowed to testify in front of the grand jury. The court finds that this motion was properly denied by the County Court.
In review of the case, the court finds that there is a need for a new trial because there were a number of errors committed during the trial which deprived the defendant of having a fair trial. The evidence including the recovery of a crack pipe and a marijuana cigarette were not properly introduced in the case.
Another error in the case was made by the county clerk who allowed the prosecutor to inquire about a defense witness as to whether or not the defendant was always “truthful.” This testimony was then allowed to be impeached. A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the defendant did not testify at the trial and never put his credibility at issue in the case. For this reason it was improper to allow the prosecutor to question the witness about the honesty of the defendant.
In addition, the prosecutor was allowed to elicit testimony from the officer who made the arrest, even though the defendant objected to this.
After careful consideration of all of the facts in the case, the court finds that the defendant should be granted a new trial based on the fact that the past trial was unfair.
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