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November 14, 2013

Westchester Prosecutor In Greenburgh Consents To Suppression

By Michael H. Joseph

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In a recent high profile case, Westchester criminal defense attorney Michael Joseph won a major victory in the Greenburgh town court. In a suppression hearing, our White Plains criminal defense attorney Michael Joseph did such an effective job in cross examining a Greenburgh Police officer and in exposing the prosecutor’s attempts to withhold evidence, that the prosecutor actually consented to suppression of the marijuana, which will ultimately lead to dismissal of the marijuana charge. While the prosecutor did not state an explicit reason for consenting to the Greenburgh suppressing the marijuana, it was obvious to everyone in the courtroom that the prosecutor consented to the suppression to prevent further cross examination of the officer.

The original arrest involved two young men, who were arrested by Greenburgh police for various charges, including Assault in the Second Degree for assaulting an officer, Attempted Robbery based upon allegations that our other client tried to grab the officer’s gun and other charges including obstruction of governmental administration and possession of marijuana. Our attorneys got the charges of attempted robbery completely dismissed after demanding a felony hearing and then releasing a video tape of the underlying incident which showed that the officer completely lied about the attempted robbery. Following the dismissal, our attorneys initiated a misconduct investigation into the officer’s actions, which requires all of the officers involved to give sworn statements to internal affairs investigators.

During the hearing, our White Plains drug charge lawyer established that the prosecutor had committed a Rosario rule violation by failing to disclose the statements given by the testifying officer in the internal investigation. To justify approaching the vehicle, the officer testified under oath he saw a parked car, in a known drug area, with smoke coming out of the windows and he detected a strong odor of marijuana. During cross examination, our criminal defense attorneys established that there was no burnt marijuana recovered which raised a serious credibility issue as to whether the officer’s testimony was truthful because if no marijuana was burning, there would be no smoke or odor. Then our attorneys got the Judge to order that the prosecutor turn over the statement given to internal affairs. When we received the statement, this same officer told the investigator that he didn’t see smoke, but only approached the vehicle because the windows were rolled down. After it was evident that the officer lied and fudged the facts to manufacture a reason to justify probable cause for stopping the vehicle, the prosecutor consented to suppression to prevent any further cross examination of the officer. During the hearing it was obvious that the officer’s civil defense lawyers and the Greenburgh town attorney was in the courtroom and were consulting with the prosecutor.

Our White Plains trial attorneys will continue to fight police corruption all over Westchester.

 
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