Defense Litigation Information
There are multiple types of suppression hearings available to your criminal defense attorney in defending you in court:
1) Mapp hearings: whether the police acted legally in obtaining property from you (i.e., fruit from the poisonous tree)
2) Huntley hearings: whether the police acted legally in obtaining a statement and whether the statement was voluntarily made
3) Wade hearings: whether the police used proper methods when they had witnesses identify you as having committed the crime
4) Dunaway hearings: whether the police acted legally in arresting you. Did they have probable cause.
During the suppression hearing, testimony is taken from the prosecution’s witnesses (i.e., police officers and witnesses). Your lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. You will also be permitted to testify and call your own witnesses. If the prosecutor does not prove that the officers acted legally, or if you, through the evidence you present, prove that the police acted illegally, the judge will suppress the evidence.
Why is this important?
If the judge suppresses the evidence, the prosecutor will be unable to introduce the evidence against you at the trial. If the prosecutor has no other evidence against you and does not intend to appeal the judge’s decision, the judge will likely dismiss the case against you on a motion.
OTHER AVAILABLE HEARINGS:
A) Sandoval hearings:
This is a hearing to decide if the accused’s prior convictions are admissible to impeach the defendant if he/she decides to testify in his/her own defense. The defense must prove by “preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., more likely than not) that the prejudicial effect outweighs the probative value. The judge decides if the evidence is admissible.
B) Molineux hearings:
A Molineux hearing is a pretrial hearing on the admissibility of evidence of prior uncharged crimes by the defendant in a criminal trial. Generally the same is not admissible because of its potential prejudicial effect. Under certain circumstances, it may be admissible and so the prosecutor will request a Molineux hearing. The judge decides if the evidence is admissible.
SPEEDY TRIAL RULES:
The People of the state of New York (prosecutors) must bring your case to trial within a certain period of time. Generally, in felony cases (except homicides) they must be ready to try your case within six months of the filing of the felony complaint. In the case of a misdemeanor, within 90 days of the filing of the misdemeanor complaint. If the prosecutor is not ready to try your case within the said time periods the judge, upon your motion, must dismiss your case. If however, you are responsible for delays in bringing your case to trial, those periods are not chargeable to the People.
To learn more about how I can help protect your rights, call my office at 718-720-1000 for a free initial consultation.