Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taking Keys to Car is a Seizure Even if Car Isn't Searched

In People v Colligan, 2008 NY Slip Op 05133 [4th Dept 6/6/2008] the Court held that it was error to deny a suppression motion where, prior to the issuance of a warrant to search a car, the police took the keys to the car from the defendant and sat out with the automobile. Since the hearing record did not show that probable cause existed as such time, this was unlawful in that

[a]lthough they did not search the automobile until the search warrant had been obtained, "there is no lesser invasion in the detention or holding of an automobile while a warrant [is] obtained than in an immediate entry of an automobile to search for contraband or evidence" (People v Singleteary, 35 NY2d 528, 533; see People v Brosnan, 32 NY2d 254, 259-260).

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