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Defendant Contends Confession was Coerced


In summary, the accused was arrested for possession of a weapon and when brought to the station he asked the police officer that he would cooperate in bringing additional guns through his wife. A few hours later, he was already suffering from heroin withdrawal that prevented him to being brought to the criminal booking office. A New York Criminal Lawyer said during the course of his detention and while feeling sick due to his withdrawal from drugs, the other investigators questioned and interrogated him for the gun crime, specifically, a shooting incident. The result of which, is that he was asked to sign a waiver and was then charged and subsequently arraigned for the alleged crime of shooting that he committed.
A few days later, the offender was examined by a doctor where he was diagnosed of having heroin withdrawal. An expert in forensic psychiatry testified that the defendant suffered from opioid withdrawal where symptoms usually occur within eight to twelve hours from the last drug intake. The doctor further averred that a person having opioid withdrawal is not in his normal behavior and usually suffer severe physical conditions.

The defendant was charged with the crime for shooting the victim inside his apartment at Brooklyn. The appellant moved to suppress evidence acquired due to his unlawful detention for the charges of criminal possession of weapons and seek to repress his admissions he gave through coercive measures conducted by the police towards him during such detention.

The court considered the following factors to accept additional evidence acquired to be used as evidence in the case filed against him, namely, “the temporal proximity between the arrest and the evidence; the presence of intervening circumstances; and the purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct.” The delivery of the guns to the detention post did not assuage the crime of illegal possession of a weapon by the defendant, thus, such evidence must be suppressed as ruled by the court. When the wife brought the guns, it was made through the instruction of the accused with the belief that he would be freed by the policemen. Since the arrest of the accused was unlawful, it follows that any evidence acquired are considered illegal, hence, must be suppressed. The prosecution failed to present any intervening circumstances that could attenuate the actuations of the felon that could warrant the inclusion of the two guns acquired as part of the evidence to be used for the gun crime charged against the accused.

A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said numerous factors were considered by the court to determine whether the defendant’s waiver of rights and admissions can be used as evidence against the latter, such as test of involuntariness if whether “self-direction is lost and compulsion of whatever nature or however infused propels or helps to propel the confession,” prolonged fatigue that could affect an individual’s judgment and will, the length of the detention and the delay in arraignment to name a few.

Applying these tests in the present case, the court noted that the admission of the defendant about the shooting incident was made when he was already detained for twenty-three hours, without enough sleep or sufficient food intakes, suffering from withdrawal symptoms of drugs, he was subjected to inquisitions by many law enforcers and his physical condition was deteriorating. Given the circumstance presented, including the testimony of the medical experts, the court supported the contention of the defendant. Therefore, it was held by the court that there was at least a reasonable doubt to question the credibility of the defendant’s admission and waiver of rights that was considered sufficient to suppress as evidence such admissions and waiver. The state, through its prosecutor, failed to establish that the felon’s acts were free and voluntary and his will unimpaired that could justify the use of his admissions and waiver before the court.

In the conduct of arrest and in carrying out the law, law enforcers are given strict and proper procedures in carrying out the same that is why presence of a lawyer is vital during the detention of individuals. Once detained, immediately contact any of our criminal lawyers here at Stephen Bilkis and Associates who could provide legal assistance whether you have been charged with drug possession, theft or sex crimes.

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