PEOPLE v. LIGON

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Bruce LIGON, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: October 15, 2009

ANDRIAS, J.P., SWEENY, NARDELLI, RICHTER, ABDUS-SALAAM, JJ. Office of the Appellate Defender, New York (Richard M. Greenberg of counsel), and Bryan Cave LLP, New York (Martha E. Joerger of counsel), for appellant. Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York (Craig A. Ascher of counsel), for respondent.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Lewis Bart Stone, J.), rendered July 9, 2007, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and false personation, and sentencing him, as a second felony offender, to an aggregate term of 3 to 6 years, unanimously affirmed.

The court properly denied defendant's suppression motion.   There is no basis for disturbing the court's credibility determinations, which are supported by the record (see People v. Prochilo, 41 N.Y.2d 759, 761, 395 N.Y.S.2d 635, 363 N.E.2d 1380 [1977] ).   The police lawfully stopped defendant's car for a traffic violation, and lawfully arrested him for driving with a suspended license.

 An officer's comment while taking pedigree information did not require Miranda warnings.   When defendant gave what the officer suspected to be a false name, the officer warned him that giving a false name would result in an additional charge.   Such a warning is required under the false personation statute (Penal Law § 190.23).   We find no basis for suppression of defendant's repetition of the false name, or his later post-Miranda statement.   Ascertaining an arrestee's true name is a necessary part of the normal booking process, even if the response may have inculpatory connotations (see People v. McCloud, 50 A.D.3d 379, 380, 855 N.Y.S.2d 113 [2008], lv. denied 11 N.Y.3d 738, 864 N.Y.S.2d 397, 894 N.E.2d 661 [2008];  People v. Alleyne, 34 A.D.3d 367, 828 N.Y.S.2d 2 [2006], lv. denied 8 N.Y.3d 918, 834 N.Y.S.2d 509, 866 N.E.2d 455 [2007], cert. denied 552 U.S. 878, 128 S.Ct. 192, 169 L.Ed.2d 130 [2007] ).   Furthermore, the warning was not reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.   On the contrary, defendant had already incriminated himself by giving a false name, and the warning gave him an opportunity to retract his prior incriminating response (see Matter of Travis S., 180 Misc.2d 234, 236-240, 685 N.Y.S.2d 886 [Fam. Ct. Kings County 1999], affd. 271 A.D.2d 611, 706 N.Y.S.2d 162 [2000], affd. 96 N.Y.2d 818, 728 N.Y.S.2d 411, 752 N.E.2d 848 [2001] ).

 Defendant's claim that the People violated the disclosure requirements of People v. Rosario, 9 N.Y.2d 286, 213 N.Y.S.2d 448, 173 N.E.2d 881 [1961] is unreviewable, because nothing in the record indicates that the undisclosed police documents at issue contained anything pertaining to a witness's testimony, and because defendant forfeited the opportunity to develop a factual basis for his claim during trial (see People v. Pines, 298 A.D.2d 179, 180, 748 N.Y.S.2d 716 [2002] lv. denied 99 N.Y.2d 562, 754 N.Y.S.2d 215, 784 N.E.2d 88 [2002];  People v. Lorenzo, 272 A.D.2d 184, 708 N.Y.S.2d 859 [2000], lv. denied 95 N.Y.2d 855, 714 N.Y.S.2d 6, 736 N.E.2d 867 [2000] ).

Although the People did not comply with the requirements of CPL 240.45(1)(b) regarding timely disclosure of a witness's criminal history, we find the error to be harmless (see People v. Pressley, 91 N.Y.2d 825, 666 N.Y.S.2d 555, 689 N.E.2d 525 [1997] ).