One day, a man reached into a brown paper bag, removed a vial of crack cocaine and handed it to an undercover police officer. A few minutes later, the man was arrested and the bag was seized. Based on records, the man’s action was clearly a criminal sale. So, the man’s intent to sell was clearly inferable from his actions minutes before he was arrested.
The man was then convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence. But, the man filed an appeal from the said decision.
The man contends that the trial court committed reversible error when it allowed to present evidence, on its direct case, that previously he pleaded guilty of selling cocaine. The man further argues that, in spite of the trial court’s limiting instruction, the evidence improperly labeled him as a repeat cocaine seller.
But, the court stated that it is well established that evidence of uncharged crimes is inadmissible where it is offered solely to raise a conclusion that the man has a criminal tendency. The court also reviewed the man’s remaining arguments and found it to be without merit. As a result, the court ordered to affirm the decision. There was no assault charged and no burglary involved.
Sources revealed that the prior sale matter was remote in time to the instant offense and involved an entirely different transaction. So, the prior sale was not probative of the man’s intent on the day in question. Consequently, even if the trial court admitted that the evidence on the limited issue of the man’s intent to sell regarding the possession counts, the harmful value of the said evidence outweighed its probative value and it should not have been admitted.
Another similar case was also presented in court wherein another man was also convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence. He also filed an appeal from the aforementioned decision.
The man’s case involves an arrest during a buy and bust undercover operation. The trial testimony established that on the night in question, an undercover officer bought two vials of crack cocaine at a basement peephole location using pre-recorded money. Upon the completion of the drug sale, the officer contacted her team. Subsequently, the officer’s team arrived at the site approximately one minute later and gained entrance to the basement through an unlocked door. Only the man and a woman, who later pleaded guilty to disorderly action in connection with the crime, were present in the basement. The police recovered the pre-recorded $10 bill used by the undercover officer as well as 30 pieces of crack cocaine from the man.
The man argues that the complainant’s proof of his guilt was legally insufficient and unpreserved for appellate review. Furthermore, in viewing the evidence in favor of the complainant, the court found that it was legally sufficient to establish the man’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Aside from the woman, no other person was found in or seen attempting to leave the basement, and the man offered no reasonable explanation for his presence in the basement in possession of pre-recorded money and the 30 pieces of crack cocaine. Moreover, upon the exercise of the court’s factual review power, the court is contended that the decision of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence. For that reason, the court ordered to affirm the decision.
It is never hard to believe allegations that you a convicted person was previously involved in. If you want to contest accusations against you, you can hire the Kings County Criminal Lawyer. However, if drug related matter is involved and you want to prove your innocence, the Kings County Cocaine Possession Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates is your best option.