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People v. Tolentino

People v. Tolentino

Court Discusses Suppression of Evidence and Probable Cause

The criminal defendant requested that the finding from the search of his automobile be suppressed. The defendant was arrested after an informant told the police that the defendant and his accomplice would be at a train station with heroin. The defendant was under extensive surveillance and a search warrant was obtained to search him and his accomplice. The defendant and his accomplice arrived at the train station and were searched but no controlled substances were found on his person but his car keys were found. The defendant permitted the officers to search his car and ten ounces of heroin was found in the trunk. The Huntley hearing concluded that finding were to be suppressed as the search flowed directing from the questions and answers which was previously suppressed by an order. The People appealed the finding of the hearing.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court found that the evidence found in the criminal defendant’s automobile was independent of the questions and answers about his car. Further there was probable cause to search his car as the defendant was under surveillance for several weeks. Probable cause is the practical and factual considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act. Probable cause was all the information and synthesis of what police had heard, what they knew and what they observed as trained officers according to Smith v. United States, 123 U.S.App.D.C.

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