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The issue in this case is whether the court erred in receiving the evidence of uncharged crimes.

A Suffolk Grand Larceny Lawyer said that, this is an appeal by the defendant from two judgments of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, both rendered July 20, 1988, convicting him of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (two counts), under Indictment No. 54/88, and forgery in the second degree (two counts), criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree (two counts), grand larceny in the second degree, attempted grand larceny in the second degree, and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, under Indictment No. 86/88, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentences of (a) concurrent indeterminate terms of three to nine years imprisonment on each count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, with these terms to run consecutively to (b) concurrent indeterminate terms of two to six years imprisonment on each count of forgery in the second degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, with these terms to run consecutively to (c) concurrent indeterminate terms of three to nine years imprisonment for grand larceny in the second degree and two to six years imprisonment for attempted grand larceny in the second degree, with these terms to run consecutively to (d) a term of one to three years imprisonment for offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

A Suffolk Robbery Lawyer said that, the defendant was tried, inter alia, on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree pursuant to Penal Law ยง 220.16(1). An element of this particular crime is that the defendant’s possession be accompanied by an intent to sell the controlled substance.

The issue in this case is whether the court erred in receiving the evidence of uncharged crimes.
The court in deciding case said that, to establish this element of intent, the court permitted, over defense objection, the testimony of two eyewitnesses who had personally observed or participated in several drug sales committed by the defendant. Contrary to the defendant’s contentions, the court did not commit reversible error by receiving this evidence of uncharged crimes.

It is well settled that evidence of uncharged crimes is admissible if it tends to establish an element of a crime with which the defendant is charged. In the instant case, the evidence of prior drug sales committed by the defendant was relevant to prove that the drugs possessed by the defendant upon his arrest were possessed with the intent that they would be sold. The trial court correctly repeatedly instructed the jury on the limited purpose for which this evidence was to be considered, and consistent with its previous ruling, the court limited the quantum of this evidence which the People would be permitted to introduce to mitigate its prejudicial effect. Accordingly, neither the introduction of the evidence of prior drug sales nor the introduction of money recovered along with the drugs denied the defendant a fair trial.
We find that the sentences were excessive to the extent indicated. We have reviewed the defendant’s remaining contentions and find them to be without merit.

Accordingly, the court held that the judgments are modified, as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, by providing that the concurrent indeterminate terms of two to six years imprisonment on each count of forgery in the second degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree shall run concurrently with the concurrent indeterminate terms of three to nine years imprisonment on each count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree; as so modified, the judgments are affirmed.

It is well settled that evidence of uncharged crimes is admissible if it tends to establish an element of a crime with which the defendant is charged. If you are facing grand larceny charges, seek the legal opinion of a Suffolk Grand Larceny Attorney and Suffolk Robbery Attorney in order to know how you can defend your case in the court of law.

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