In a recent case in New York County, Judge Martino, sitting in the Family Court, dismissed a juvenile proceeding. The juvenile was walking in February in what the police referred to as a high crime area. Police officers saw the juvenile walking alone. He was wearing a winter jacket and had a black ski mask. When the juvenile saw the police officers, he changed directions. He also put his hands in his pocket while walking away. The police officer stopped him and questioned him. They asked if he had any weapons on him. They then searched him and found a gravity knife.
The Appellate Division, an Appeals Court, held that looking startled and walking away from police officers is not criminal behavior. This does not generate a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. The court thereafter ruled that the police officers did not have the level of suspicion necessary to ask questions that could be incriminating, even in a high crime neighborhood. The court rule also found that wearing a ski mask and a heavy jacket in February while putting one’s hands in one’s pocket did not rise to the level of suspicion required under common law to indicate a crime was committed. The knife was suppressed, the case was dismissed.
If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation for committing a crime, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you. We represent individuals charged with a variety of offenses including, but not limited to, white collar crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, drunk driving (DWI), shoplifting, burglary, juvenile defenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug offenses and all types of felonies and misdemeanors. Call us should you have criminal problems. We can help you!