People v. Palencia

NASSAU COUNTY
Criminal Practice

, New York Law Journal

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Justice Robert Spergel

Prosecutors moved to introduce the results of a portable breath test (PBT) administered to Palencia at the time and place of his arrest. They alleged Palencia's knowledge the results showed a presence of alcohol led to his state of mind in refusing a later offered chemical test. Prosecutors argued the PBT results were being offered only for the limited purpose of Palencia's state of mind, not his intoxication. Palencia opposed arguing admission would be improper as the test was unreliable, and the prejudicial effect of permitting the results into evidence outweighed its probative value. The court stated a jury instruction explaining the limited scope for which the results were being offered would sufficiently alleviate Palencia's concern of prejudice. It also noted when prosecutors elicited testimony from a State Trooper in their attempt to lay the foundation required, there were no objections by Palencia, and defense counsel declined the court's offer to provide the jury with a limiting instruction at that time, noting he would prepare an instruction to be read during the court's jury charge. Therefore, the court granted the prosecutions' motion.

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