People v. Todd Johnson

Brief of Amici Curiae the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Defendant-Appellant.

Brief filed: 12/27/2013


People v. Todd Johnson

New York Court of Appeals; Case No. APL-2013-00034


The order of the Appellate Division, First Department should be reversed, Mr. Johnson’s motion to suppress should be granted, and the conviction should be reversed. There was no probable cause to arrest Todd Johnson. Mr. Johnson’s alleged gang membership is entitled to no weight when assessing probable cause. Prior gang problems at the location did not establish probable cause to arrest Mr. Johnson. Partial obstruction of a doorway cannot provide a basis for probable cause without evidence of public harm. Were the Court to uphold probable cause on these facts, the New York disorderly conduct statute would be unconstitutional.

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William C. Silverman, Greenberg Traurig LLP, New York, NY; Richard D. Willstatter, White Plains, NY; Marc Fernich, New York, NY.