Appellate Court Overturns Conviction When Defendant’s Jacket Searched Without a Warrant

In People v Morales, 2015 NY Slip Op 01190, the First Department, Appellate Court revisited the law regarding search incident to lawful arrest. Generally speaking, the government must satisfy two separate requirements to justify a warrantless search of a container incident to an arrest. The first requirement is that the search is conducted during the arrest or immediately after the

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A Court Cannot Exclude a Defendant From a Hearing Regarding Threats to a Witness.

In People v Williams, 2015 NY Slip Op 00916, the Second Department overturned a Murder conviction where the Court excluded the defendant from a hearing regarding the availability of a witness. In Williams, the defendant was accused of shooting dead a man he was earlier observed arguing with. There was an eye witness to the event want knew both the

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Conviction Overturned, Indictment Dismissed Because Police Illegally Searched the Defendants Backpack

The First Department, Appellete Term in Manhattan reversed the conviction and dismissed the indictment in the case of People v. Mangum. In Mangum, on January 26, 2012, police officers Arslanbeck and Porras were on patrol in a New York City housing complex on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The officers first saw Mr. Mangum walking through a courtyard along

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U.S. Supreme Court decides that a mistake about the law does not invalidate a traffic stop in a Search and Seizure Case: HEIEN v. NORTH CAROLINA

On April 29, 2009, Maynor Javier Vasquez was driving his Ford Escort, his passenger, and the petitioner in this decision, Nicholas Brady Heien laying across the rear seat. Surry County Sheriff ’s Sergeant Matt Darisse, saw Vasquez drive by, and later testified at a suppression hearing that Vasquez appeared “very stiff and nervous.” Based upon that observation, he decided to

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Appeals Court Reverses Suppression of Statement and Physical Evidence Based on Incorrect Ruling on Confrontation Clause

In People v Mitchell, 2015 NY Slip Op 00786, the Second Department reversed the ruling of the Nassau County Supreme Court suppressing the defendant’s statements to law enforcement and physical evidence recovered from the defendant on the ground that the Court improperly applied the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation to suppression hearings. Mr. Mitchell was arrested by Police Officer Joseph

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Court Improperly Allowed Hearsay Testimony, However, the Error was Harmless and the Conviction Affirmed

In People v Beato, 2015 NY Slip Op 00617, the Appellate Division for the First Department did not disturb the conviction of Mr. Beato even though the Court found that the trial judge’s decision to allow the District Attorney to introduce Hearsay testimony violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation. The Court held that the decisions to allow the

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Conviction Reversed Because Trial Court Incorrectly Denied Cause Challenge in Jury Selection (2nd Department)

In People v Harris, 2015 NY Slip Op 00554, the Second Department overturned the conviction of James Harris for Criminal Sale of a Controlled substance because the trial court, incorrectly denied the defendant’s cause challenge of a prospective juror who told the Court during jury selection that she was engaged to be married to a police officer, and she “stated

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First Department Reverses Conviction for Trial Court’s lack of Inquiry Regarding the Defendant’s Request for a New Lawyer During Trial

The First Department, the Court of direct appeal for cases in Manhattan and the Bronx overturned a conviction in the case of People v McCummings, 2015 NY Slip Op 00610 (1st Dep’t, 2015) under unusual circumstances. In McCummings, during the fourth day of a jury trial, the defendant asked the Court to replace his attorney with a new attorney. The

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Appellate Court Reverses Conviction for Lower Court’s Failure to allocute on Waiver of Constitutional Rights

In the case of People v. Barnes, 2015 NY Slip Op 50034 (N.Y. App. Term, 2015), the Appellate Term of the Second Department for the 2nd, 11th And 13th Judicial Districts overturned the defendant’s conviction for the Court’s failure to properly allocute on the questions of whether or not she was voluntarily and knowingly waiving her constitutional rights or whether

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