The Court of Appeals noted that its review of whether there was probable cause for arrest, a mixed question of fact and law, is limited to whether there is support for a probable-cause finding in the record. Here the police were conducting surveillance on a target drug dealer. The police observed defendant take a bag from the target’s car, which was deemed sufficient to provide probable cause to arrest:
After a Darden hearing … , Supreme Court found that the confidential information had given the police “cause to believe” that the surveillance target was engaged in “drug activity.” Insofar as a Darden hearing is held to ensure “that the confidential informant both exists and gave the police information sufficient to establish probable cause” … , it may be inferred from the Darden hearing court’s ruling, which was adopted by the suppression court for the purpose of determining probable cause, that the confidential information was not stale by the time of defendant’s arrest.
Furthermore, the officer’s justified belief that the surveillance target was trafficking in narcotics, together with the manner in which the bag was removed from the car, support the lower courts’ conclusion that the police had probable cause to arrest defendant for criminal possession of a controlled substance. Record support for probable cause may be found on the basis of “indicia of a drug transaction” known to “an experienced officer . . . trained in the investigation and detection of narcotics,” which include “handl[ing] [an] unidentified object in a manner typical of a drug sale” … . People v Joseph, 2016 NY Slip Op 03416, CtApp 5-3-16
CRIMINAL LAW (PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST SUPPORTED BY THE RECORD, REVIEW BY COURT OF APPEALS)/APPEALS (COURT OF APPEALS REVIEW, CRIMINAL LAW, PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST SUPPORTED BY THE RECORD)