People v. Allen

Decision Date01 November 2011
Citation89 A.D.3d 742,932 N.Y.S.2d 142,2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 07853
PartiesThe PEOPLE, etc., respondent,v.Keagan Russel ALLEN, appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

89 A.D.3d 742
932 N.Y.S.2d 142
2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 07853

The PEOPLE, etc., respondent,
v.
Keagan Russel ALLEN, appellant.

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Nov. 1, 2011.


[932 N.Y.S.2d 142]

Del Atwell, East Hampton, N.Y., for appellant.William V. Grady, District Attorney, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Joan H. McCarthy of counsel), for respondent.

[932 N.Y.S.2d 143]

PETER B. SKELOS, J.P., RUTH C. BALKIN, JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, and L. PRISCILLA HALL, JJ.

[89 A.D.3d 742] Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Dutchess County (Hayes, J.), rendered April 3, 2008, convicting him of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, upon his plea of guilty, and imposing sentence. The appeal brings up for review the denial, after a hearing, of those branches of the defendant's omnibus motion which were to suppress physical evidence and his statements to law enforcement officials.

ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, on the law, those branches of the defendant's omnibus motion which were to suppress physical evidence and his statements to law enforcement officials are granted, the indictment is dismissed, and the matter is remitted to the County Court, Dutchess County, for the purpose of entering an order in its discretion pursuant to CPL 160.50.

The defendant was charged by indictment with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, and unlawful possession of marihuana.

At the suppression hearing, a New York State Trooper testified that on June 22, 2007, at approximately 3:45 A.M., he observed the defendant's vehicle approaching from the opposite direction with its high beams on. The high beams caused the State Trooper to squint his eyes as he was driving. As a result, the State Trooper turned his vehicle around, followed the defendant's vehicle, and then pulled the defendant over. The State Trooper's partner approached the defendant's vehicle, and from his position outside that vehicle, observed a handgun protruding[89 A.D.3d 743] from beneath the driver's seat of the defendant's car. Following a search of the defendant's vehicle, the State Troopers recovered, inter alia, the handgun, cocaine, and marihuana.

The County Court, after a hearing, denied those branches of the defendant's omnibus motion which were to suppress physical evidence and his statements to law enforcement officials. Specifically, the County Court found that the defendant's high beams hindered the State Trooper's vision so as to provide probable cause to believe that the defendant had violated Vehicle and Traffic Law § 375(3). Thereafter, the defendant entered a plea of guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

The defendant appeals, challenging, among other things, the hearing court's suppression ruling. We reverse.

A police officer may lawfully stop a vehicle based upon probable cause that there has been a Vehicle and Traffic Law violation ( see People v. Robinson, 97 N.Y.2d 341, 348–349, 741 N.Y.S.2d 147, 767 N.E.2d 638; People v. Johnson, 83 A.D.3d 733, 919 N.Y.S.2d 891; People v. Sluszka, 15 A.D.3d 421, 423, 790 N.Y.S.2d 55). To establish a violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 375(3), the People must show (1) the use of high beams when an approaching vehicle is within 500 feet, and (2) interference with the vision of that driver by reason of such high beams ( see People v. Meola, 7 N.Y.2d 391, 395, 198 N.Y.S.2d 276, 165 N.E.2d 851). We agree with the defendant's contention that in order to constitute interference, a defendant's use of high beams must “hinder or hamper the vision of [the] approaching motorist” so as to actually have an effect upon the other driver's operation of his or her vehicle ( id. at 395, 198 N.Y.S.2d 276, ...

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13 cases
  • People v. Harris
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • December 30, 2020
    ...of the stop were illegal ... [and] the evidence recovered as a result of the unlawful stop must be suppressed" ( People v. Allen, 89 A.D.3d 742, 744, 932 N.Y.S.2d 142 [citation omitted]; see People v. Rose, 67 A.D.3d 1447, 1449, 889 N.Y.S.2d 789 ). Accordingly, "exercising our independent p......
  • People v. McClam
    • United States
    • New York District Court
    • March 30, 2015
    ...AD3d 810, 962 N.Y.S.2d 174 (2nd Dept. 2013); People v. Sluska, 15 AD2d 421, 798 N.Y.S.2d 55 (2nd Dept. 2005); People v. Allen, 89 AD3d 742, 932 N.Y.S.2d 142 (2nd Dept. 2011) app. dis. 19 NY3d 993, 951 N.Y.S.2d 468 (2012) The court finds Officer Ford's testimony that the Defendant proceeded ......
  • People v. Bookman
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • September 30, 2015
    ...court erred in denying that branch of the defendant's omnibus motion which was to suppress physical evidence (see People v. Allen, 89 A.D.3d 742, 743–744, 932 N.Y.S.2d 142 ). As such, I vote to reverse the judgment, grant that branch of the defendant's omnibus motion, and dismiss the indict......
  • Barr v. N.Y. State Dep't of Motor Vehicles
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 2, 2017
    ...722, 724, 547 N.Y.S.2d 435 [1989], lv. denied 76 N.Y.2d 736, 558 N.Y.S.2d 898, 557 N.E.2d 1194 [1990] ; but see People v. Allen, 89 A.D.3d 742, 743, 932 N.Y.S.2d 142 [2011], lv. dismissed 19 N.Y.3d 993, 951 N.Y.S.2d 468, 975 N.E.2d 914 [2012] ) and, together with the negative inference that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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