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People v. Hurtado

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Jan 7, 2014
977 N.Y.S.2d 639 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014)

Opinion

2014-01-7

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Bernardo HURTADO, Defendant–Appellant.

Thomas Theophilos, Buffalo, for appellant. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York (Yuval Simchi–Levi of counsel), for respondent.


Thomas Theophilos, Buffalo, for appellant. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York (Yuval Simchi–Levi of counsel), for respondent.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Arlene D. Goldberg, J.), rendered February 9, 2012, as amended February 16, 2012, convicting defendant, upon his plea of guilty, of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, and sentencing him, as a second felony drug offender, to a term of 12 years, unanimously affirmed.

The court properly denied defendant's suppression motion. There is no basis for disturbing the hearing court's credibility determinations. The police had the authority to stop defendant's van for a traffic violation, regardless of whether they had other motives for making the stop ( see People v. Robinson, 97 N.Y.2d 341, 741 N.Y.S.2d 147, 767 N.E.2d 638 [2001] ). The police saw a bag of marijuana in plain view and also detected a strong odor of marijuana. Accordingly, the police had probable cause to arrest defendant, as well as probable cause to believe that the van contained additional marijuana ( see People v. Belton, 55 N.Y.2d 49, 55, 447 N.Y.S.2d 873, 432 N.E.2d 745 [1982] ). This contemporaneous probable cause justified a search of the vehicle under the automobile exception, including closed containers ( see United States v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798, 825, 102 S.Ct. 2157, 72 L.Ed.2d 572 [1982]; People v. Langen, 60 N.Y.2d 170, 180–182, 469 N.Y.S.2d 44, 456 N.E.2d 1167 [1983], cert. denied 465 U.S. 1028, 104 S.Ct. 1287, 79 L.Ed.2d 690 [1984] ), notwithstanding that the police waited until they returned to the precinct before conducting a full search ( see People v. Milerson, 51 N.Y.2d 919, 921, 434 N.Y.S.2d 980, 415 N.E.2d 968 [1980] ). Therefore, the police lawfully searched the van, and this search properly included lifting a removable panel in the van's rear hatch.

Defendant concedes that if this Court does not grant suppression of the drugs found in the hatch, it should affirm his conviction regardless of the arguments he makes regarding additional contraband and his statements to the police. In any event, we reject those arguments. SWEENY, J.P., ACOSTA, SAXE, MOSKOWITZ, CLARK, JJ., concur.


Summaries of

People v. Hurtado

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Jan 7, 2014
977 N.Y.S.2d 639 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014)
Case details for

People v. Hurtado

Case Details

Full title:The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Bernardo HURTADO…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Date published: Jan 7, 2014

Citations

977 N.Y.S.2d 639 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014)
113 A.D.3d 411
2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 72

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