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Court Determines Insufficient Evidence Against Defendant in Drug Possession Case


Case Background

Local police officers executed a search warrant at a home and when they did they found the appellant along with two other young men inside the home. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the appellant was detained in the living room with the other two men while the search was conducted. The officers found three kinds of controlled substances in the bedroom. There was also marijuana found under the kitchen sink.

The appellant was the only person that was prosecuted as a result of the search. He was charged with possession of all of the drugs that had been found in the bedroom. He was charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana possession, and possession of barbiturates.
A non-jury trial was held and the appellant was found guilty as charged and sentenced to five years on each count with the sentences to be served consecutively.

Case Discussion

The state’s position was that the appellant was the person who occupied the bedroom where the drugs were found. If this is the case then there is sufficient evidence for the convictions of the appellant.

The state showed that the bedroom belonged to the defendant by providing several forms of evidence. The first fact was that when the defendant was told to go get dressed to go to the police station he entered the bedroom in question to do so. When the officers were searching the bedroom they found a bag of cocaine that was hidden in a shoe. Along with it there was electric bills and a pool receipt that had the appellant’s name on it. The car of the appellant was in the garage at the time of the search and the officer had seen the appellant at the resident earlier on the day that the search was conducted.

A Manhattan Criminal Lawyer said there is a problem with the evidence that was provided by the state. First, the appellant denies having knowledge of any of the drugs that were found. The state has no evidence to show that these drugs actually belonged to the appellant because they failed to prove that no other person resided in the bedroom as well. In addition, there is no evidence provided to the fact that any one that entered the home had access to the bedroom. There was not a lock and key on the door.

Additionally, there were two other individuals found inside the home at the time the search was conducted. Neither of these individuals was apprehended and the state failed to give a sound reason why the defendant was the only one arrested after the search.

Court Decision

In this particular case the evidence against the defendant is not found to be sufficient. The state has not provided hard evidence for the conviction of the defendant on all of the counts against him. For this reason, the court finds that the trial court made an error when they denied the motion made by the defendant for acquittal. The conviction of the defendant on all three counts in the information that is provided is reversed. The case is remanded to the trial court with the direction to discharge the appellant.

Whether you have been charged with drug possession, sex crimes or theft, contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates for advice and a free consultation. They have locations available throughout New York for your convenience.

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