People v. Fasciani, 2021-51130

CourtNew York City Court
Writing for the CourtLYNDON D. WILLIAMS, J.
PartiesPeople of the State of New York, v. Deborah Fasciani, Defendant.
Docket Number2021-51130
Decision Date29 November 2021

People of the State of New York,

Deborah Fasciani, Defendant.

No. 2021-51130

City Court of Mount Vernon, Westchester County

November 29, 2021

Unpublished Opinion

Westchester County District Attorney

Mount Vernon branch

Alvin Thomas, Esq.

Attorney for Defendant


Defendant is charged by misdemeanor information with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (PL § 220.03), Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree (PL § 220.50 [2]) and by simplified information with Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs (VTL§ 1193 [3]).

A Dunaway/ Huntley/ Mapp hearing was held on November 10, 2021.

At the hearing, Police Officer Nelson Santana testified that he has been employed by the Mount Vernon Police Department for two years. On May 5, 2021 he was working the midnight to 8:00 am shift. At around 5:00 am he was in the vicinity of Lincoln Avenue in Mount Vernon and responded to a radio call regarding an unresponsive female driver in a vehicle on West Lincoln Avenue. When he arrived in the vicinity of 230 West Lincoln Avenue he observed a female, identified in court as the defendant, slumped over the steering wheel of a black Lincoln MKZ. He testified that the defendant was unconscious. Officer Santana knocked on the car door but the defendant was non-responsive. The officers attempted to break the windows to extract the defendant from the vehicle because they believed she was severely injured or possibly deceased. He further stated that the keys were in the ignition and the engine was running. The defendant's vehicle started to roll forward and crashed into Police Officer Santana's police car. Eventually the officers at the scene were able to break the rear driver's side window and pull the defendant from the vehicle. Officer Santana entered the vehicle to unlock the driver's door so he could place the vehicle in park. While doing this, he observed what he believed to be a crack pipe, based upon his narcotics identification training at the police academy, on the floor of the front driver's side of the vehicle. He observed a lighter on the floor of the front driver's side of the vehicle as well. He did not smell the odor or alcohol when inside the vehicle but stated that it smelled like some drug he was not able to identify. Defendant woke up after being pulled from the vehicle and appeared drowsy, incoherent and was unable to stand. Officer Santana observed vomit on the defendant's jacket and pants. He stated that after being pulled from the vehicle, defendant allegedly asked if she was in an accident and "did I hit anybody", "was anybody hurt or killed". Officer Santana stated that Police Officer Marquez was asking defendant questions at the scene and that no Miranda warnings were issued at the scene before or after defendant was arrested.

Defendant was placed under arrest after Officer Santana observed the crack pipe and lighter on the floor of the vehicle. Defendant was then transported to Mount Vernon Police Headquarters and searched in the cell block. During the search an officer found a white rock type substance on her person. Officer Santana searched defendant's purse at headquarters. A crack rock and crack pipe were recovered.

Officer Santana testified that defendant was issued her Miranda rights at the police station by another officer. He was not present when defendant was issued her Miranda rights. Defendant was taken to Mount Vernon Hospital and consented to a blood test. The blood test revealed the presence of cocaine and methadone.

Police Officer Marquez was also dispatched to the scene. She was wearing a body camera and arrived at the scene at the same time but in a separate vehicle. The body camera footage was admitted into evidence at the hearing.

Conclusions of Law

Based upon the credible testimony at the hearing, the court finds that probable cause existed for the defendant's arrest. When evaluating police conduct, courts "must determine whether the action taken was justified in its inception and every subsequent stage of the encounter" (People v DeBour, 40 N.Y.2d 210, 222 (1976)).

The Court finds the testimony given at the hearing...

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