In a recent opinion from a New York court involving drug possession, the defendant’s request for the court to reconsider his guilty verdict was denied. The defendant was found guilty of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. He filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing that the officers who found street-level PCP in his vehicle did not have probable cause to search his car. The appellate court denied the appeal because it found that the officers did, in fact, have enough reason to search the car after having smelled the PCP from outside the vehicle.
As stated in the opinion, officers in Syracuse were patrolling a high-crime area in August 2017 when they noticed a car that was parked illegally. The officers walked up to the vehicle and saw three occupants – the defendant in the driver’s seat and two other passengers. As soon as the officers approached the car, the officers smelled a “really strong chemical odor” that they recognized as PCP.