People v. Rafailov

KINGS COUNTY
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Michael Gersten

The court held a Huntley/Mapp/Dunaway hearing regarding probable cause for a stop, frisk and arrest, and suppression of evidence and Rafailov's statement. After a detective observed what appeared to be a hand-to-hand exchange, he approached defendant and a non-party, frisking Rafailov for weapons, citing his own safety. The detective found a jewelry box in Rafailov's pocket, opened it and discovered a controlled substance inside, arresting Rafailov. He subsequently observed a carton of cigarettes in plain view in an open trunk of Rafailov's vehicle, and defendant stated he was selling untaxed cigarettes. Rafailov sought suppression of the pills and his statement, while prosecutors argued for the inevitable discovery rule. Rafailov claimed the drugs constituted primary, rather than secondary, evidence, noting New York only applied the inevitable discovery rule to secondary, not primary evidence. The court agreed, noting the officer never stated he suspected Rafailov had a weapon or that the bulge in his pocket felt like a weapon. Hence, while the court granted suppression of the jewelry box and pills, it did not suppress statement or cigarettes.

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