any failure by defense counsel to move to suppress identification testimony did not rise to ineffective assistance.
The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Smith, determined that defense counsel’s failure to move to suppress based upon a violation of Criminal Procedure Law 710.30, which requires notice of any identification of the defendant as the perpetrator, did not rise to ineffective assistance. Although the People provided notice of an identification of the defendant by the victim at a particular time, they did not provide notice of a subsequent identification by the victim a few minutes later after defendant was in custody:
Assuming that there was a section 710.30 violation, it might not have resulted in exclusion of the evidence in question. CPL 710.30 (2) provides for the possibility of late notice, and a belated suppression hearing, when the People show “good cause.” The belated notice and hearing may occur during the trial …, and if the trial court thought the People had made an excusable error it might have granted such a remedy here.
In short, it is not obvious that defendant’s counsel could have successfully sought preclusion of the evidence of the victim’s post-arrest identification under section 710.30. An argument for preclusion could have been made, but not an argument “so compelling that a failure to make it amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel” … . Counsel’s performance should not be “second-guessed with the clarity of hindsight” … . Any deficiency in her performance was not so great that it can support an ineffective assistance claim.
Nor has defendant shown any serious likelihood that he was prejudiced by trial counsel’s alleged error. Even if the trial court had precluded evidence of the victim’s post-arrest identification, the evidence against defendant would remain strong. People v Vasquez, 2013 NY Slip Op 01016 [20 NY3d 461], CtApp 2-19-13