- October 2, 2017
F. Carman, Garden City, NY (Matthew W. Brissenden of
counsel), for appellant.
Madeline Singas, District Attorney, Mineola, NY (Judith R.
Sternberg and Jacqueline Rosenblum of counsel), for
C. BALKIN, J.P. JOSEPH J. MALTESE BETSY BARROS FRANCESCA E.
DECISION & ORDER
by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Nassau
County (Harrington, J.), rendered May 26, 2016, convicting
him of driving while ability impaired by the combined
influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, as a
felony, in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law §
1192(4-a), driving while intoxicated, as a felony, in
violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(3), driving
while ability impaired by drugs, as a felony, in violation of
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(4), aggravated unlicensed
operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree (three
counts), aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle
in the second degree (three counts), aggravated unlicensed
operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, reckless
driving, reckless endangerment in the second degree, license
restriction violation, and unlawful fleeing a police officer
in a motor vehicle in the third degree, upon his plea of
guilty, and imposing sentence. The appeal brings up for
review the denial, after a hearing, of that branch of the
defendant's omnibus motion which was to suppress his
statements to law enforcement officials, his refusal to
submit to a chemical blood test, and physical evidence.
that the judgment is affirmed, and the matter is remitted to
the Supreme Court, Nassau County, for further proceedings
pursuant to CPL 460.50(5).
evidence adduced at the suppression hearing established that,
on February 25, 2015, a detective was assisting another
officer at the scene of a car accident in a residential
neighborhood when he observed the defendant driving at an
excessive rate of speed. The detective pursued the defendant
in his police vehicle with its lights and sirens activated.
The defendant failed to stop, and during the pursuit the
defendant ran through several stop signs and failed to stay
in his lane of travel. The defendant eventually turned his
vehicle into the driveway of a residential property that was
later identified as his home, and crashed into a detached
garage. The detective exited his vehicle and approached the
defendant's vehicle, and observed that the defendant was
no longer in the vehicle, the driver's side door was
open, the vehicle was still running, the transmission was
left in drive, and there was an empty beer bottle in the
center console. A side door to the garage was open. After
waiting for assistance, the detective entered the garage
without a warrant and found the defendant hiding in the
rafters. The police officers placed the defendant in
handcuffs inside the garage. The defendant subsequently made
several incriminating statements and refused to submit to a
chemical blood test.
defendant was charged with, among other things, driving while
ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of
alcohol and any drug or drugs, as a felony, in violation of
Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(4-a), reckless driving,
reckless endangerment in the second degree, and unlawful
fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third
degree. Following the denial of that branch of his omnibus
motion which was to suppress his statements, his refusal to
submit to a chemical blood test, and physical evidence, the
defendant pleaded guilty to the charged crimes. The defendant
physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which
the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed, " a
defendant has no burden to show that he or she had an
expectation of privacy in his or her home (People v
Levan, 62 N.Y.2d 139, 144 [internal quotation marks
omitted]; see United States v United States Dist. Court
for Eastern Dist. of Mich., 407 U.S. 297, 313).
"The curtilage of the home, defined as the area
immediately surrounding and associated with the home or the
area that is related to the intimate activities of the
home-is part of the home itself' (People v
Morris, 126 A.D.3d 813, 814; see United States v
Dunn, 480 U.S. 294, 301; People v Avinger, 140
A.D.3d 895, 897; People v Theodore, 114 A.D.3d 814,
816). Here, we agree with the defendant that his detached
garage was within the curtilage of his home (see People v
Avinger, 140 A.D.3d at 897; People v Theodore,
114 A.D.3d at 816; People v Vennor, 176 A.D.2d 1217,
1218; see also People v Morris, 126 A.D.3d at 814)
and, therefore, the People were required to establish that
the detective's entry was justified by an exception to
the warrant requirement (see People v Levan, 62
N.Y.2d at 144).
the circumstances of this case, the People established that
the detective's entry was justified by the doctrine of
hot pursuit. "[S]ubject only to carefully drawn and
narrow exceptions, a warrantless search of an
individual's home is per se unreasonable and hence
unconstitutional" (People v Jenkins, 24 N.Y.3d
62, 64 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see People v
Avinger, 140 A.D.3d at 895). However, "exigent
circumstances or a true 'hot pursuit' may justify a
warrantless entry" (People v Watson, 115 A.D.3d
687, 688, quoting United States v Santana, 427 U.S.
38, 43; see Payton v New York, 445 U.S. 573;
People v Levan, 62 N.Y.2d at 144; People v
Avinger, 140 A.D.3d at 897). "[A] criminal suspect
may not thwart an otherwise proper arrest which has been set
in motion in a public place by retreating into his
residence" (People v Thomas, 164 A.D.2d 874,
874; see United States v Santana, 427 U.S. at 43;
People v Mitchell, 290 A.D.2d 518, 519). Here, the
exigent circumstances justifying the hot pursuit of the
defendant into his garage included the defendant's
observed erratic and dangerous driving, the crashing and
abandoning of his vehicle, and the police officers'
peaceful entry through the open door of the garage (see
People v McBride, 14 N.Y.3d 440, 446; see also
Matter of Stark v New York State Dept. of Motor Vehs.,
104 A.D.2d 194, 194-195, affd 65 N.Y.2d 720; cf.
People v Cruz, 41 Misc.3d 1222[A], 2013 NY Slip Op
51806[u] [Crim Ct, Bronx County]).
Supreme Court properly refused to consider the
defendant's affidavit, which was submitted three weeks
after the suppression hearing had concluded (see CPL 710.60).
the Supreme Court properly denied that branch of the
defendant's omnibus motion which was to suppress his
statements, his refusal to submit ...