People v. Jones

Citation232 N.Y.S.2d 18
PartiesPEOPLE v. James JONES.
Decision Date03 August 1962
CourtNew York Court of General Sessions

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232 N.Y.S.2d 18

James JONES.
Court of General Sessions, New York County.
Aug. 3, 1962.

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J. William Jarshower, New York City, for defendant.

Frank S. Hogan, Dist. Atty., by Edward M. Davidowitz, Asst. Dist. Atty., for the People.


This is a motion to suppress the evidence seized in this case on an alleged illegal search and seizure. Since the facts and circumstances of the case pose unique questions of constitutional law it is important to analyze them in some detail.

The defendant claims that he was standing in a bar and grill at No. 2338 Eighth Avenue on February 27, 1962, when the arresting officer approached and asked to search him. The defendant refused, but the officer, nevertheless arrested the defendant for disorderly conduct, subsequently searched him and found the narcotics which form the basis for the instant indictment. The disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.

The defendant asserts that the dismissal of the disorderly conduct charge conclusively establishes the illegality of the arrest (People v. Dreares, 15 A.D.2d 204, 221 N.Y.S.2d 819, aff'd 11 N.Y.2d 906, 228 N.Y.S.2d 467, 182 N.E.2d 812). There can be no question that if an arrest is illegal, a search incidental to that arrest will also be illegal and render inadmissible any evidence so seized (Giordenello v. United States, 357 U.S. 480, 78 S.Ct. 1245, 2 L.Ed.2d 1503 [1957]; Henry v. United States, 361 U.S. 98, 80 S.Ct. 168, 4 L.Ed.2d 134 [1959]).

However, the People contend that the arrest for the possession of narcotics was lawful despite the fact that the disorderly conduct charge was dismissed. The People's affidavit indicates that the arresting officer was on patrol on February 28, 1962, in the vicinity of No. 2338 Eighth Avenue when he was contacted by an informant whom he knew to be a drug

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addict . From prior experience he believed the informant to be reliable. The informant asked the officer if he wanted information about a drug seller from whom the informant had purchased narcotics. The officer answered in the affirmative and the informant then went into a bar at No. 2338 Eighth Avenue, stood behind the defendant and indicated by a prearranged signal to the officer that the defendant was the person from whom he had purchased narcotics.

The officer left, and later returned to the location in plainclothes and stationed himself in the doorway of a store across the street. During a period of twenty minutes observation, he saw four or five people whom he knew to be drug addicts approach the defendant. Each of these persons handed money to the defendant and each received something in exchange. The officer then approached the defendant and asked him what he was doing. A sharp exchange of words ensued and the officer arrested the defendant for disorderly conduct. At the precinct, the defendant was searched and twenty-two decks of heroin of a felonious weight were found on his person.

Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace officer, may, without a warrant arrest a person...

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4 cases
  • People v. McErlean
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • 31 Octubre 1962
    ...set of circumstances indicating probable cause may validate a pre-arrest search and seizure lest form usurp substance (People v. Jones, Gen.Sess., 232 N.Y.S.2d 18; People v. Simon, 45 Cal.2d 645, 290 P.2d 531). Jones follows the principles set forth in Simon, a California case which reflect......
  • People v. Kolichman, 1-88-1227
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 30 Julio 1991
    ...of alcohol, swaying when he walked; officer did not need to inform defendant he was under arrest before searching him); People v. Jones (Gen.Sess.1962), 232 N.Y.S.2d 18 (defendant convicted of possession of narcotics arising from search incident to arrest for disorderly conduct, even though......
  • People v. Isaac
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 8 Abril 1963
    ...fact that the officer arrested him for the misdemeanors rather than for the infractions does not constitute a fatal error. See People v. Jones, 232 N.Y.S.2d 18 (Ct. of Gen.Sess. 1962). Thus, the dismissal of the misdemeanor charges had no effect upon the legality of the arrest, which was ju......
  • United States v. Robinson
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 18 Diciembre 1963
    ...and that Robinson had a previous narcotics conviction, was sufficient to justify an arrest without a warrant. In People v. Jones, Gen.Sess., 232 N.Y.S.2d 18, 20 (1962) the officer could not tell whether what he saw the defendant selling or giving to others was actually narcotics, but the in......

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