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In a recent New York gun crime case decided by a New York City trial court, one of two defendants filed a motion to suppress incriminating evidence. The court, looking at the circumstances surrounding the case, granted the defendant’s motion after considering the fact that the police officer that found the gun was not in immediate danger at the time of her search.  As a result, the charges were dismissed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, a New York police officer was on duty around 9:00 one morning when she was notified that a violent altercation had occurred nearby. The call reported that a woman’s ex-boyfriend had brought out a gun during a fight in the woman’s home. After the fight, the ex-boyfriend left the house and got into his car, driving away.

The officer began looking for the vehicle belonging to the ex-boyfriend, who later became one of the defendants in this case. About an hour later, the woman involved in the case called the officer to report that she had found the defendant’s car and that one of the defendant’s friends was sleeping inside the car. The officer immediately arrived at the car and knocked on the window, instructing the defendant’s friend to open the door.

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In a recent New York gun crime case a the defendant unsuccessfully argued, on appeal, that his conviction should be reversed based on questionable scientific methodologies used by the prosecutor. Originally, the defendant was charged with criminal possession of a gun after a violent altercation in a store. After a jury found him guilty, the defendant appealed, arguing that the court should have conducted research as to whether or not the State’s methodology for extracting DNA evidence was scientifically legitimate. Disagreeing with the defendant, the court affirmed the guilty verdict.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon after an incident inside a local store. The State’s major piece of evidence at trial was video footage taken from a security camera inside the store. The footage showed a group of men holding the defendant against a shelf, then showed the men scattering the scene before the defendant himself ran away. Approximately two minutes later, the footage showed a police officer looking at the shelf where the defendant had been held, finding a gun in the space where only the defendant had just been standing.

Relying on this evidence, a jury found the defendant guilty, agreeing that the video footage sufficiently proved that the defendant had the gun on his person before the men in the group ran away.

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In a recent case coming out of a New York Court, the defendant appealed his convictions for robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, and assault. Originally, the defendant had been found guilty of all three crimes after he was involved in a violent incident in 2017. On appeal, he made several arguments, one of which was that the court lacked sufficient evidence to find him guilty of the violent crimes. The court rejected the defendant’s argument and affirmed the convictions.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was involved in a drug deal with one other person, who became his co-defendant in this case. While the defendant was participating in what the court later learned was a marijuana purchase, the defendant pulled out his gun and shot two victims who were sitting in their car. Both the defendant and his partner, the co-defendant, were criminally charged, as it was discovered that the two men were accomplices in the gunpoint robbery.

Later, investigators found jail house recorded telephone conversations between the defendant and his accomplice, proving that the two men were at least acquaintances. Considering both this evidence as well as testimony regarding the crimes committed, a jury found the defendant guilty of the following crimes: robbery in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, assault in the first degree, and assault in the second degree.

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In a recent decision coming out of a New York court, the defendant’s appeal of his New York firearm conviction was denied. Originally, the defendant was charged after police officers found a firearm inside of his backpack while the defendant and some of his acquaintances were gathered in another person’s yard. On appeal, the defendant argued that the officers invaded his right to privacy. Disagreeing with the defendant, the court denied the appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, two officers were on patrol one day when they drove past an empty house that they had seen many times while driving on the same street. They noticed that the house was boarded up with a padlock, a chain, and a “No Trespassing” sign in the front. Officers saw that a group of men had gathered in the backyard, and they exited their vehicle to go speak with the men.

Officers noticed that the men were passing a cigarette back and forth, as well as that the area smelled of marijuana. They also observed the defendant walk towards the back of the house with an object in his hand. The officers watched him then return to the group empty-handed.

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In a recent opinion coming out of a New York court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his guilty conviction for manslaughter in the first degree. The defendant’s case emerged after he got into a physical altercation with another man. Following the altercation, police showed up at the scene and questioned the defendant extensively. Based on testimony from these officers as well as other people familiar with the incident, the defendant was found guilty. On appeal, he argued that the court had incorrectly instructed the jury on how to proceed in deciding his case. Disagreeing with the defendant, the court eventually affirmed the original verdict.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with manslaughter in the first degree after he choked another person for several minutes with an intent to cause serious physical injury. After the incident, the defendant spoke to police officers and explicitly admitted that he had choked and strangled the victim. He later spoke with a friend and a cousin, who both testified during the trial that the defendant had admitted the crimes to them soon after.

At trial, the defendant testified that he only briefly grabbed the victim’s neck. According to the defendant, his only goal was to stop the victim from fighting him, and he was acting more out of self-defense than out of aggression.

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In a recent case coming out of a New York court, the defendant appealed his guilty conviction for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Officers searched for this weapon only because they had previously smelled marijuana in the defendant’s car, making them suspicious of additional drug or criminal activity. In his appeal, the defendant relied on a recently enacted law that legalizes possession of marijuana in certain amounts for individuals who are 21 or older in New York. The court acknowledged this new law but ultimately ruled that the law does not apply to convictions that occurred before the passage of the law in 2021. The Court found that the police officer had reasonable cause to believe that there was contraband located in the car, to wit marijuana.  At the time of the search, possession of marijuana was still illegal in New York.  Therefore, because the defendant was charged in 2018, he could not use the law to argue for his conviction to be overturned.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, two police officers were patrolling one evening in his car when they noticed the defendant pull away from the curb without signaling. The officers signaled the defendant to pull over and then conducted a traffic stop. Once the defendant rolled down his car window, the officers immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana.

After the officers asked the defendant whether there was, in fact, marijuana in the car, the defendant answered in the affirmative and opened his center console. The officers found two bags of marijuana and $1,000 cash. Continuing to smell the marijuana, the officers searched other areas of the car and subsequently found a loaded firearm in the trunk.

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In a recent opinion from a New York appellate court, the defendant unsuccessfully appealed his convictions of attempted assault in the second degree and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. The defendant argued that the blood sample the State used as evidence against him was both based on an invalid search warrant and was inadmissible in court. Disagreeing with the defendant on both arguments, the court denied the appeal and affirmed the guilty verdict.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant had been charged with violating a traffic law in New York one evening in 2017. In connection with the accident that occurred as a result of the defendant’s violation, he was taken to the hospital and his blood was drawn for medical purposes. One month later, while investigating the original violation, the State applied for and was granted a search warrant and order of seizure for the defendant’s blood sample. After examining and testing the blood sample, officers discovered that the defendant had been intoxicated at the time of the traffic violation.

Based on this information, the defendant was charged, convicted, and sentenced to time in prison.

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As New York firearms attorneys we reported in our December 28, 2021 blog about the new law regulating 80 percent lower receivers in New York, the law allows for a six month grace period.  However as has been reported in the news lately, the term “Ghost Gun” is the new boogie man for gun control supporting politicians and raids have been taking place before the new law even takes effect.  Please read this article and this one.

The problem for many gun owners begins when they unlawfully finish what started out as an 80 percent lower in one of two ways.  First, it is a serious felony under New York law to possess any handgun, even in one’s own home without a handgun license.  Once you complete the 80 percent lower into a handgun a person who doesn’t have a pistol license possesses an unregistered and unlicensed firearm, referred to by many politicians as a “ghost gun”.   The fact is that getting a handgun license in many New York counties, especially during the pandemic could take a year or more.  In addition, fully manufactured guns were hard to come by.  Some people took matters into their own hands and completed 80% lowers into functioning handguns.

Possession of a handgun without a license in your home or place of business is a class “E” felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.  Possession of a loaded unlicensed and unregistered handgun outside your home or place of business is a class “C: violent felony and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years in State prison with a maximum sentence of 15 years.  Possession of 3 or more firearms makes it a “D” felony and possession of 5 or more firearms makes it a “C” felony.

In a recent opinion from a New York court in a New York drug case, the defendant’s appeal of his conviction for drug possession was denied. Originally, the defendant was arrested after officers found heroin in his vehicle, but he filed a motion to suppress the incriminating evidence. The lower court denied this motion, concluding that the officers conducted a proper search of the defendant’s vehicle. On appeal, the higher court agreed with the lower court’s denial of the motion to suppress. The defendant’s guilty conviction was thus affirmed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, police officers worked on this case with a confidential informant, who provided samples of heroin that he had obtained from the defendant on previous occasions. On the day the defendant was charged for drug possession, the informant had arranged to purchase a large quantity of drugs from the defendant.

Because the officers had previously suspected the defendant of drug possession, they had arranged for a GPS to be put on his car to track his location. Thus on the day the informant was supposed to conduct the drug exchange, the officers were able to locate the defendant and his automobile. They searched the car and subsequently found a bag of heroin inside.

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In a recent New York DWI  case coming out of the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest Court, the defendant lost his appeal challenging the court’s previous decision to take away his license. Previously, the defendant had refused a chemical test when an officer pulled him over for a DWI. Because of this refusal, the New York State Department of Motor vehicles (NY DMV) revoked his license. The defendant argued on appeal that he had every right to refuse the officer’s request to test him because more than 2 hours had lapsed between the arrest and when he refused the test, but the court disagreed and affirmed the original decision.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2016. About three hours after police officers arrested the defendant, the officers warned the defendant that there would be consequences if he decided not to consent to a chemical test. Despite this warning, the defendant refused the test.

In New York, drivers charged with a DWI are subject to something called the two-hour rule, which says that a driver who appears drunk must be tested either within two hours of the time of the arrest or the time of a positive breath screening test. Because of this law, the defendant’s refusal to submit to a test resulted in another hearing, during which the court had to decide whether or not to take away his license.

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