PEOPLE v. LEIGH

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

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Patrick LEIGH, Appellant.

Decided: March 18, 2010

Before:  MERCURE, J.P., SPAIN, ROSE, LAHTINEN and STEIN, JJ. Lucas G. Mihuta, Albany, for appellant, and appellant pro se. P. David Soares, District Attorney, Albany (Christopher D. Horn of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal from a judgment of the County Court of Albany County (Breslin, J.), rendered July 17, 2008, convicting defendant upon his plea of guilty of the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree.

Defendant pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, in full satisfaction of a five-count indictment.   Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, defendant waived his right to appeal and was sentenced to a prison term of seven years, to be followed by five years of postrelease supervision.   Defendant now appeals.

 We affirm.   Defendant's waiver of the right to appeal precludes his contention that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, except insofar as it relates to the voluntariness of his guilty plea (see People v. Anderson, 63 A.D.3d 1191, 1193, 879 N.Y.S.2d 849 [2009], lv. denied 13 N.Y.3d 794, 887 N.Y.S.2d 543, 916 N.E.2d 438 [2009];  People v. Perry, 50 A.D.3d 1244, 1245, 855 N.Y.S.2d 733 [2008], lv. denied 10 N.Y.3d 963, 863 N.Y.S.2d 147, 893 N.E.2d 453 [2008] ).   Defendant's argument on appeal that counsel failed to challenge the validity of a search warrant does not implicate the voluntariness of his plea and, therefore, is precluded (see People v. McDuffie, 43 A.D.3d 559, 560, 840 N.Y.S.2d 253 [2007], lv. denied 9 N.Y.3d 992, 848 N.Y.S.2d 609, 878 N.E.2d 1025 [2007] ).   In any event, given the favorable plea agreement negotiated by counsel and defendant's acknowledgment that he was satisfied with counsel's representation, we conclude that defendant was afforded meaningful representation (see People v. Singletary, 51 A.D.3d 1334, 1335, 858 N.Y.S.2d 483 [2008], lv. denied 11 N.Y.3d 741, 864 N.Y.S.2d 400, 894 N.E.2d 664 [2008] ).   Finally, defendant's valid appeal waiver also forecloses his remaining challenges to County Court's rulings in connection with his suppression hearing (see People v. Kemp, 94 N.Y.2d 831, 833, 703 N.Y.S.2d 59, 724 N.E.2d 754 [1999];  People v. Hogabone, 49 A.D.3d 1027, 1028, 853 N.Y.S.2d 435 [2008], lv. denied 10 N.Y.3d 935, 862 N.Y.S.2d 342, 892 N.E.2d 408 [2008] ).

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed.

LAHTINEN, J.

MERCURE, J.P., SPAIN, ROSE and STEIN, JJ., concur.

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