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Defendant Claims he was Denied a Right to a Speedy Trial


On February 1986, there was a gathering of people in the apartment of a woman. The woman requested a man to bring to that event several glassine bags of a white powdery substance which the state asserts was heroin (heroin possession). At some time during the course of the evening the substance was injected into the body of the woman and her boyfriend. The next day, the substance was injected by two other men to their own body. One of the men took 11 envelopes after agreeing to help the man sell the substance. At about 4:00 p.m. that day, the woman became ill and died of causes apparently unrelated to the case and an investigation was conducted.

As a result of a search of the apartment, several items were seized including a piece of mirror with white powder residue, a box found in the medicine cabinet containing a black shoe lace, syringe, hypodermic needle and bottle cap cooker, an empty bottle cap found in the medicine cabinet, a syringe and needle found in a dresser drawer, and a plastic bag containing white powder which was found in a kitchen drawer. A New York Criminal Lawyer said after testing by a forensic scientist, only the bottle cap cooker tested positive for the presence of narcotics. The forensic scientist who performed the autopsy of the woman’s body found the presence of substances including quinine but no traces of the presence of either heroin or morphine.

The man and his companion were indicted for three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and two counts of criminal injection of a narcotic drug. The man’s motions for severance were denied and a joint trial was held wherein the other man chose not to testify but the man testified on his own behalf.

Eventually, the man was convicted of three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, one count of criminal injection of a narcotic drug and one count of attempted criminal injection of a narcotic drug. A Nassau County Criminal Lawyer said he was given concurrent prison sentences. Still, the man raises an appeal. The issues stem from the denial of the man’s motions for severance of the trial and the admission into evidence, over the man’s objection, of a statement made by the other man.

The man contends that the statement made by the other man to the police was ineffectively redacted and therefore improperly admitted into evidence at trial.

The other man described how he arrived at the woman’s apartment the day after the event. According to the man, the woman had called him and requested his assistance in selling the envelopes. He testified that he entered the bathroom and injected part of the contents of an envelope. He also testified that he had used heroin in the past on more than 200 occasions and that the sensation was similar to those prior experiences. According also to him, he drove with the man in order to look for purchasers. They encountered another person and they returned to the woman’s apartment.

The person encountered by the men testified that he injected himself with the contents of a packet. He also testified that he had used heroin in the past on more than 100 occasions and testified that the reaction on that day was similar to that of previous occasions.

Finally, the court rejected the man’s contention that he was deprived of his constitutional and legal rights to a speedy trial. According to the man, the time from the date of his arrest to the commencement of trial, was eight months and 14 days and, therefore, his right to a speedy trial was violated. However, a New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said at the hearing on the man’s motion, the state contended that they were present at every calendar call.

The man’s remaining arguments, including his claim that his sentence was harsh and excessive, have been examined and found to be without merit.

Some of our young individuals turn out to be hooked in illegal activities. They sell and use drugs without even thinking that it might be dangerous to their health. If you happen to know something about drug related activities, you can ask help from the NYC Heroin Lawyer or New York City Drug Crime Lawyers. However, if you’re the one who need legal representation because of the involvement you obtain, you can call the NY Criminal Attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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