New York Defendant in Firearms Case Successfully Appeals Denial of Motion to Suppress — New York Criminal Attorney Blog — January 19, 2023


Final month, a New York defendant in a firearms possession case efficiently appealed an unfavorable choice from the decrease court docket. Initially, the trial court docket had denied the defendant’s movement to suppress the gun on this case, which was discovered by the 2 officers that arrested the defendant. The defendant argued that officers truly didn’t have authorized grounds to go looking him, and the trial court docket disagreed. On enchantment, nevertheless, the upper court docket reversed this choice, ruling that the officers unlawfully searched the defendant on the evening in query.  As we’ve got mentioned on many events, suppression motions are sometimes the easiest way to problem gun possession circumstances.

Details of the Case

In keeping with the opinion, the defendant was sitting in a grassy space outdoors of a vacant home one night. Law enforcement officials patrolling the realm observed that the defendant had an open container of alcohol, and so they approached him to challenge a quotation for the offense.

Because the officers approached, the defendant jumped up and tried to run away. One of many officers tackled the defendant, and he was positioned in handcuffs. The officers then arrested the defendant for violation of the native open container ordinance and for obstructing governmental administration. Whereas officers have been patting the defendant down, they discovered a gun on him and charged him with felony possession of a firearm as nicely.

The Determination

The defendant filed a movement to suppress, arguing the gun shouldn’t be admitted at trial. In keeping with the defendant, the officers didn’t have affordable grounds to go looking him, and thus the proof was discovered based mostly on an unlawful search. If officers solely discovered the gun via unlawful means, the court docket mustn’t admit the gun as proof at trial.

The court docket of appeals appeared on the proof and finally agreed with the defendant. When the officers approached the defendant, he had no motive to know that they have been planning to challenge citations for the open container violation. That they had not advised the defendant that he ought to stay in place whereas they issued the quotation. Thus, the defendant couldn’t have purposefully prevented the officers’ quotation if he didn’t know the quotation was coming within the first place.

On this case, if the defendant was not deliberately making an attempt to flee a quotation, the officers didn’t have authorized grounds to arrest him. The following search was thus unlawful, and the gun that the officers discovered ought to have been suppressed by the trial court docket.

After agreeing with the defendant, the court docket reversed the decrease court docket’s denial of the movement to suppress and dismissed the indictment.  The prosecutor tried to avoid wasting the case by arguing that the police had possible trigger to arrest the defendant for different expenses similar to an open container or trespass.  Nonetheless, the Appellate Courtroom identified that they solely have the authority to overview a call made by the decrease Courtroom and can’t search to seek out different grounds that the decrease Courtroom didn’t rule on.

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