Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a New York robbery case involving a defendant’s motion to suppress statements he made to law enforcement. Specifically, the case required the court determine if the defendant’s statements were admissible or whether they were the product of a violation of his constitutional rights. Ultimately, the court concluded that the defendant’s statements were admissible.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, a police officer witnessed the defendant roll through a stop sign. The police officer pulled over the defendant and requested his driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. As the defendant retrieved the requested items, the officer noticed a can of pepper spray in the glove box. The officer also recognized the vehicle as matching the description of one used in a recent robbery in which the person committing the robbery used pepper spray on the alleged victims.
The officer arrested the defendant and read him his Miranda warnings. Later, the defendant provided a statement to police. While the exact statement was not outlined in the court’s opinion, it’s fair to say that it was against his interest.
In a pre-trial motion to suppress, the defendant sought the suppression of his statement to law enforcement officers. However, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress, finding that he was lawfully arrested and his statement was given voluntarily after Miranda warnings were administered. The defendant was subsequently found guilty of several robbery offenses and appealed the denial of his motion to the appellate court.
The Appellate Court’s Ruling
On appeal, the court agreed that the defendant’s motion was properly denied. The court explained that the officer initially had probable cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle because he committed a traffic violation in running a stop sign. From there, the officer noticed the pepper spray and recognized the defendant’s vehicle as being involved in a recent robbery. This provided the officer with probable cause to arrest the defendant. The court also agreed with the trial judge that the defendant’s statements were “voluntarily made after the defendant knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his Miranda rights.” Thus, the court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion as well as his conviction and sentence.
Have You Been Arrested After Making a Statement to Police?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a crime after providing a statement to the police, your statement may have been taken in violation of your constitutional rights. If so, prosecutors cannot admit your statement as evidence against you. At the criminal defense law firm of Tilem & Associates, we represent clients facing all types of crimes, including New York robbery offenses, gun crimes, and drug charges. We have extensive experience litigating motions to suppress which, if successful, often results in the government withdrawing the case against our clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a New York criminal defense attorney, give Tilem & associates a call today at 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.