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Defendant Contends that Initial Police Stop was Pre-Textual


The defendant in this case is challenging a judgment and sentence that she received for trafficking methamphetamines, a felony marijuana possession of drug paraphernalia. She was charged with carrying a concealed weapon as well. In support of her challenge the defendant states that the court made a mistake by not allowing her motion to suppress that alleged the vehicle stop was pre-textual. She also states that the evidence presented in the case is insufficient to support her convictions.

Case Background

The defendant started a romantic relationship with a gentleman in January of 1994. The gentleman always had a large amount of money and access to drugs. While they were dating he would supply the defendant with cash, methamphetamines, and take her on trips. In March of 1994, he came to her home and asked her if she wanted to go on a trip. She agreed, but stated that she did not have any luggage. He told her that she could pack her stuff in one of his bags. She carried a small bag with her in which she had a small amount of marijuana.

When they were travelling the couple came up on a road block. The officer stopped the truck they were in because they had a fluorescent tag light that is only readable within 15 feet. These lights are illegal and he informed the gentleman of this.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the officer felt that the gentleman was acting nervous and asked if he could search the truck. The officer then asked the defendant if there were any guns in the truck. She asked the male as she knew he sometimes carried guns. He admitted that there were weapons in the truck.

At this time the officer brought out his K-9 dog that searched the exterior of the car and alerted to the rear door on the right hand side. The officer opened the door and the dog alerted to a black bag that was located on top of the other luggage. When opened the bag was found to contain over $100,000. Later, when the bills were tested the presence of marijuana and methamphetamines were found.

Another officer arrived on the scene and both individuals were frisked and then placed in a squad car. The male had a gold lighter and around $1700. The defendant had several gold necklaces and $360.

Case Discussion and Decision

The defendant was found with 3.08 grams of marijuana in her purse. None of the other luggage had the defendant’s name on it. During the trial the defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence that was seized as a result of a pre-textual stop. This motion was denied. It is determined that the court did not make an error in denying this motion.

A Westchester County Criminal Lawyer said that in regard to the argument that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction for possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, the court finds in favor of the defendant and this conviction is reversed. There was also no evidence to show that the defendant carried a concealed weapon. This conviction is reversed as well. The other convictions of the defendant will stand.

If you have a legal issue and would like to speak with an experienced New York attorney, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have offices all around New York City for your convenience, whether you have been charged with drug possession, theft or sex crimes. You may contact us at any time to set up an appointment for a free consultation.

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