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Robbery Defendant Seeks to Have Confession Excluded


On November 22, 1965, a Supreme Court judgment was handed down convicting a man of robbery in the third degree. He pleaded guilty and was given a sentence in accordance with the fact that he was a second felony offender. He later appealed on August 9, 1965 requesting that certain evidence should be suppressed. That motion was over ruled.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said on September 30, 1965, he attempted to have his alleged confession excluded and attempted that again on November 22, 1965. Both motions to exclude his confession and to withdraw his guilty plea were reviewed. The motion to exclude his confession was denied, but his motion to withdraw his guilty plea and substitute a plea of not guilty to the indictment was granted and the case was sent to trial. On September 30, 1965, the justices reversed the conviction on the law and then agreed to exclude his confession.

The defendant in question was arrested in the act of attempting to burglarize a closed and locked business at approximately eleven o’clock at night. He was seen standing on the roof of a garage, attempting to gain entry through a closed window. The defendant refused to answer questions at the scene and a search of his person revealed that he was carrying a knife that was partially broken apparently while trying to force open the window. Also on his person, were identification cards and papers that belonged to a pharmacist who had recently been robbed.

The defendant was arrested and transported to the police station. Two hours later, he was identified by the robbery victim as the man who had held up the drug store. The defendant claims that he was beaten during questioning until he confessed to the drug crime. Following a hearing into the interrogation, the court found that the defendant had not been beaten. The defendant had made an immediate request for counsel while still on the scene of the burglary. However, the request was made to a uniformed officer on the scene and was not repeated to the detective who handled the case. There is no evidence that the detective was ever aware of the statement that the defendant would not say anything unless he talked to his lawyer about it first.

The defendant later changed his plea from not guilty to a plea of guilty to a lesser offense in order to have less time in prison. Before the sentence was passed, the defendant made his motion to withdraw the guilty plea. A Westchester County Criminal Lawyer said that was the first motion that was denied. The justices in their review of the case found that the it did not matter that the police officer did not notify the detective of the request. It was the duty of the officer to relay the request. His failure in telling the detective rests on the state. The justices decided that the confession should have been omitted from the trial because the defendant had requested an attorney and was not provided one. He was not given access to a telephone to contact an attorney himself until 6:30 the following morning.

The state contends that the request for counsel was made in connection with the burglary and that it had no bearing on the robbery charge from the drug store. The state contends that they were not bound by any regulation to re-advise the defendant of his rights under Miranda before questioning began about the robbery since the evidence of the connection to the robbery was part of the search of his person subsequent to the burglary.

The defendant contends that the search of his person was illegal and should be suppressed. The justices found that the search of an arrested person who commits a crime in the presence of an officer is legal because of the portability of the subjects person effects. Therefore, the subject’s motion to suppress is not granted. Whether you have been charged with theft, sex crimes, or a drug offense, contact us for advice. Stephen Bilkis & Associates has Queens Criminal Lawyers, with convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Our Queens Drug Lawyers represent you with knowledge and experience of the law.

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