Thursday, September 21, 2006

AD4: warrantless arrest for violation only appropriate where offense occurs within officer's presence

People v Solomon, 2006 NY Slip Op 05459 [available here]

A woman called 911 and told them that defendant would not leave her house. When the police responded, defendant was seen "leaving the caller's home." (People v Solomon, 2006 NY Slip Op 05459.) Defendant was chased down and arrested, and was eventually charged with harassment in the second degree (a violation). Citing CPL 140.10, the Fourth Department held that, because the alleged harassment did not occur in the presence of the arresting officer, the warrantless arrest was illegal and the evidence found subsequent to arrest should have been suppressed. (See id. [The police may arrest a person for a violation without a warrant when, inter alia, they have 'reasonable cause to believe that such person has committed such offense in [t]heir presence'. The warrantless arrest of defendant for a violation, i.e., harassment, that did not occur in the presence of the arresting officers was therefore illegal [...].")