Published on:

Statements are deemed admisable

A Drug Possession Lawyer said that, this is an appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County, rendered December 15, 1988, convicting him of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence. The appeal brings up for review the denial, after a hearing, of those branches of the defendant’s omnibus motion which were to suppress certain physical evidence and statements made by him to the police.

The issue in this case is whether the court erred in refusing to suppress the physical evidence seized by the police in this drug possession case. Neither arson or another crime was charged.

The court held that, contrary to the defendant’s contention, the hearing court did not err by refusing to suppress physical evidence seized by the police. The arresting officer testified at the suppression hearing that while on patrol with his partner he observed a car which was poised to make a right-hand turn suddenly back down the one-way street from whence it had come and stop in a double-parked position. The officer followed the car by driving the wrong way down the one-way street and stopped the police car in a head-on position to the other car. As the officer exited his vehicle he observed the defendant, who had been a passenger in the backseat of the other vehicle, open the back door and step out of the vehicle. As the defendant did so, a brown bag dropped to the ground at his feet and he began to quickly walk away. The officer picked up the brown bag and looked inside. Upon seeing two clear plastic bags containing a white powdery substance found to be cocaine, the officer pursued the defendant and placed him under arrest.

In the case at hand, we need not consider whether the police possessed the necessary predicate to warrant stopping the vehicle in the first instance. Because the vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger was already stopped prior to the police approach, the officer needed only an articulable reason to make a reasonable inquiry. Under the circumstances of the officer’s initial observations, the police were justified in approaching the vehicle for the purpose of seeking information. In any event, the record supports the hearing court’s determination that the defendant abandoned the paper bag containing the cocaine independently of any unlawful police action. “Issues of credibility are primarily for the hearing court and its findings should be upheld unless they are clearly erroneous”. We see no reason to disturb the hearing court’s determination on this matter. Suppression of the cocaine was properly denied. In the absence of any illegal police conduct, the defendant’s statements to the police need not have been suppressed on the ground that they were tainted. We further conclude that the hearing court properly determined such statements to have been spontaneously made and therefore admissible.

Turning to the defendant’s numerous claims of error in the prosecutor’s summation, many of the remarks were not objected to and, therefore, the defendant’s claims of error with respect thereto are not preserved for appellate review (CPL 470.05[2]. In those instances in which objections were interposed and sustained, no further relief or curative instructions were requested, nor was a motion for a mistrial made, so that the court must be deemed to have corrected the errors to the defendant’s satisfaction and any further claims of error are unpreserved. In any event, the record does not support a conclusion that the prosecutor’s remarks substantially prejudiced the defendant’s trial or exceeded the bounds of permissible rhetorical comment.

The court has examined the defendant’s remaining contentions and finds that none warrant reversal of the defendant’s conviction.

Accordingly, the court held that the judgment is affirmed.

It is well settled that when an application for a search warrant relies on information provided by an undisclosed informant, it must meet the Aguilar- Spinelli two-prong test. In this case, the basis of the informant’s knowledge is explicit and first hand.

If you are involved in a similar case, seek the representation of a Kings Drug Possession Attorney and Kings Cocaine Possession Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates in order to properly defend your case.

Contact Information