Criminal Law – Search & Seizure

A Queens County judge has dismissed a drug possession case against a defendant because the Criminal Court complaint failed to show a nexus between where the drugs were found in a house and where the defendant was located during the execution of a search warrant.

The defendant and others were present in a house when police entered under a search warrant. The defendant was in one bedroom where no drugs were found. Police did find drugs in a bedroom in the basement, a hallway, the living room, and a second floor kitchen.

The court ruled that the District Attorney in the complaint filed in Criminal Court failed to show that the defendant had the necessary intent to possess the drugs found, and that the presumption in the Penal Law concerning drugs in open view in a room did not apply in this case because the defendant was not in any of the rooms in question.

People v. Stazzone (Queens Criminal Court)