Lack of Probable Cause to Enter a Private Restroom Results in Dismissal of Charges

On December 27, 2018, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed our client T.V.’s convictions for tampering with physical evidence and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and dismissed the charges against him. In May, the First Department ruled that T.V. had a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public single-use restroom, such that police officers needed probable cause to justify their entry into the restroom. Because the suppression court had ruled that no such expectation of privacy existed, that court did not determine whether probable cause existed. In reversing the suppression court’s ruling on the reasonable expectation of privacy, the First Department remitted the case to the lower court for a finding on probable cause. Upon remittal, the suppression court ruled that the officers did not have probable cause and that the entry into the private restroom violated T.V.’s constitutional right to be free from unlawful searches. The First Department affirmed the new probable cause determination and dismissed the charges. T.V. was represented by Jacqueline Meese-Martinez