On August 15, 1985, a police officer on patrol, at about 2:40 in the morning, made note of the description of a car used in a robbery and gun crime. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the vehicle, that was described as a shiny, 1970s Chevrolet with chrome wheels. The suspects wanted for the robbery were only described as three black males. About ten minutes later, as the officer patrolled the area adjacent to where the robbery occurred, he observed a vehicle matching that description occupied by three black males near Fulton Avenue and North Franklin Street in Hempstead. The robbery had taken place in the Blimpie’s parking lot on Fulton Avenue just a short distance from that location. The officer watched the vehicle and the occupants for a few minutes and then he notified the radio operator that he would be stopping the car. When he stopped the car, the officer executed a full felony traffic stop and approached the car with his gun drawn. He ordered the occupants to show their hands. One of the men who was seated in the back seat, later filed a motion to suppress evidence.
Four other police officers arrived, and the scene was secured. The occupants of the car were directed to exit and keep their hands in view. The man in the back seat, exited the vehicle and was directed to one of the backup officers. A New York Criminal Lawyer said he made a spontaneous statement to that officer that he had two bags of marijuana in his pocket and that he had been selling the drugs. The officer immediately searched the man’s pockets, located $160, and five “nickel” bags of marihuana.
While the officers waited for the victims of the robbery to be brought to the scene to identify the subjects, other officers began the inventory of the vehicle prior to impound by noting the objects that were located in plain view. As the officer looked into the car, he noticed a gold chain in the car behind the front passenger seat. The item was removed and logged. The victims arrived and identified the man who had been in the backseat as the person who robbed them. The officer who had recovered the gold chain asked if one had been taken in the robbery. The victim stated that it was and upon seeing the gold chain that the officer had recovered from the car, he identified it as belonging to him.
Although, in custody, the officers had not questioned any of the defendants, and so had not provided them with their rights under Miranda v Arizona. When the defendant who was in the back seat saw the victims, he made another spontaneous utterance to the effect that the victims had wanted to purchase some marijuana. He also stated that the defendants did not have enough money. At the police station, the defendant observed the gold chain sitting on the desk of the officer and made yet another spontaneous utterance that the chain was the one that he had “snatched” from the victims.
The defendant filed an appeal from the judgment of the County Court, Nassau County. On July 1, 1986, he was convicted of felony robbery in the first degree, petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant had filed a motion to suppress the physical evidence, all of his statements, and the victim’s identification testimony. The defendant claimed that the traffic stop was not legal because at the time of the traffic stop, he had no information that the vehicle that was stopped was the vehicle involved in the robbery.
A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the court ruled that the stop of the vehicle was legitimate because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the car was involved. Therefore, all of the evidence was seized legally. Since the contention was that the traffic stop was illegal was the basis for the rest of the suppressions, the fact that the stop was legal, makes the contentions moot. It is important that anyone who feels that his or her rights have been violated as the result of a criminal offense contact a New York Criminal Lawyer. A New York Arrest Lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that all agents of the government act in accordance with the law.