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Defendant Files Appeal After Being Convicted of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance


A man filed an appeal from a decision convicting him of criminal possession of a controlled drug in the fifth degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

The defendant man claims that the Supreme Court made a mistake in not dismissing the charges based upon the fact that the trial testimony of the complainant woman’s principal witness differed from the testimony which he gave before the grand jury. However, while it is proper, after a plea of guilty, to review the validity of an indictment based solely upon false testimony, where, the decision of conviction follows a proceeding, the adequacy of the evidence to convict is apparent from the record.

Consequently, the defendant man is precluded from raising the issue on appeal. In any event, the court noted that the witness had testified before the grand jury as he did at trial, his testimony would have been adequate to sustain the charges. Moreover, the man’s attorney took full advantage of the differences in testimony during his cross examination to the witness.

The court also found that it was legally sufficient to establish the man’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, upon the implementation of the court’s factual review power, the court found that the decision was not against the weight of the evidence.

On the other hand, with respect to the man’s contention that the court should have charged criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree as a lesser-included offense, the court stated that inasmuch as the man possessed more than five times the amount of cocaine necessary for the offense of the crime, there was no reasonable view of the evidence to support a finding that he committed the lesser offense. For that reason, the court properly declined to charge criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree as a lesser-included offense.

The court further stated that the man’s sentence was not excessive. The court also ordered that the man’s remaining contentions are unpreserved for appellate review, and in any event, without merit.

In a similar case, a defendant woman filed an appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court convicting her of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree and possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence of two concurrent indeterminate terms of imprisonment of nineteen years to life.

The evidence revealed that the woman offered to sell a kilogram of cocaine to a police informant who arranged for its sale to an undercover agent. The informant traveled with the woman and her boyfriend to the place where they picked up the drugs and then placed it in the trunk of the car in which it was discovered by the police after they were arrested.

The woman’s main arguments concern the statements made by the prosecutor during summation and the court’s charge to the jury. Sources revealed that the record clearly indicates that the prosecutor stayed within the four corners of the evidence, and that the jury, after hearing the entire charge, could gather from its language the correct rules to be applied in arriving on its decision.

Consequently, the woman’s contention that her entrapment argument was proven by a prevalence of the evidence is without merit, as the issue of whether that defense was established was within the area of the jury.

The court then stated that the imposed sentence of two concurrent indeterminate terms of imprisonment of nineteen years to life was correct one within the limits of the sentencing law. As a result, modification is not necessary.

When one of your family members is involved in a crime and wants to clear his or her name from legal troubles he might face, simply seek legal assistance from the Suffolk County Criminal Lawyer. If he also needs experts from the Suffolk County Drug Possession Attorney, just visit the office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates for more details.

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