Sunday, January 3, 2010

Possession of Cash a Month after Alleged Drug Sale Inadmissible

A defendant's possession of case at time of arrest is not admissilbe if not linke to criminality. Thus, in People v Sumter (2009 NY Slip Op 09782 [4th Dept 12/30/09]), the Appellate Division, Fourth Department held that the trial
court erred in admitting in evidence testimony concerning the seizure of $1,027 in cash from defendant at the time of his arrest, as well as the cash itself. Defendant was arrested over one month after the drug sales that were the basis for the charges against him, and the People failed to establish a relationship between that cash and the charges in question. We thus conclude that defendant's possession of the cash was 'too remote to the issue of [defendant's] intent to sell drugs to outweigh the potential for prejudice inherent in the admission of evidence which invited the jury to speculate that defendant had previously sold drugs' (People v Corbitt, 221 AD2d 809, 810).

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