The Second Department, reversing defendant’s convictions by guilty pleas, determined the police officer who stopped the taxi in which defendant was a passenger did not have probable cause to believe defendant had committed a crime. Because defendant pled guilty to several offenses based upon a promise of concurrent sentences, all convictions were reversed:
Upon our evaluation of the totality of the circumstances in this case, we conclude that, at the time the police officer stopped the taxi in which the defendant was a passenger, the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant had committed a crime. The stop was based merely on the report of an identified citizen, made 40 minutes after the fight had occurred, that the neighbor with whom she was talking to on the phone was presently observing the defendant getting into a black taxi on the block where the fight occurred. There was no evidence that the informant or the neighbor saw the fight, and the neighbor, who testified at the hearing, did not state that she knew that the defendant was involved in the fight. Indeed, the police officer who stopped the taxi admitted that, when he made the stop, he did not know whether the defendant was a victim, a perpetrator, or involved “in anything.” Under these circumstances, the gun recovered by that officer upon the vehicle stop should have been suppressed … . …
The defendant correctly contends that the judgments relating to the drug cases also must be reversed inasmuch as his pleas of guilty in those cases were premised on the promise of sentences that would run concurrently with the sentence imposed on the weapon possession charge … . People v Gomez, 2022 NY Slip Op 03399, Second Dept 5-25-22
Practice Point: One of the charges to which defendant pled guilty was overturned because the police did not have probable cause to make a vehicle stop. The guilty pleas to all the charges were reversed because of the promise the sentences would run concurrently with the sentence for the overturned conviction.