Recently, a New York appellate court issued an opinion in a gun case involving a defendant who was shot twice and then was arrested for possession of a firearm. At trial, the court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress. On appeal, the defendant argued that the officers who found the gun infringed upon his right to privacy by entering a residential building. The court disagreed, saying there was no legitimate privacy right and therefore that the evidence was obtained legally.
One night in June 2017, officers received a call for a domestic disturbance at the defendant’s home. Shortly thereafter, the officers caught sight of the defendant on the second floor of his home. They watched him open his window and throw a black backpack into the window of a building next door. He then exited the home onto the porch to talk to the police officers. The defendant told them that he had a gun several times.
Then, the defendant took out a gray-colored object. As he did, officers shot him twice. While he was being taken to the hospital, officers found the backpack, opened it up, and searched its contents. Inside they found a rifle and a smaller bag containing ammunition. Later, when interviewed by a detective, the defendant admitted he threw a black backpack out the window. He maintained, however, the backpack only had marijuana in it – he denied any existence of a rifle or of ammunition. The defendant was later convicted of criminal possession of a weapon, as well as several domestic violence offenses.