The U. S. Supreme Court

From the syllabus: "A police officer stopped a car for speeding at 3:16 a. m. ; searched the car, seizing $763 from the glove compartment and cocaine from behind the back-seat armrest; and arrested the car's three occupants after they denied ownership of the drugs and money. Respondent Pringle, the front-seat passenger, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of cocaine, and was sentenced to 10 years' incarceration without the possibility of parole.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed, but the State Court of Appeals reversed, holding that, absent specific facts tending to show Pringle's knowledge and dominion or control over the drugs, the mere finding of cocaine in the back armrest when Pringle was a front-seat passenger in a car being driven by its owner was insufficient to establish probable cause for an arrest for possession. "Held: Because the officer had probable cause to arrest Pringle, the arrest did not contravene the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Maryland law authorizes police officers to execute warrantless arrests, inter alia, where the officer has probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed or is being committed in the officer's presence. Here, it is uncontested that the officer, upon recovering the suspected cocaine, had probable cause to believe a felony had been committed; the question is whether he had probable cause to believe Pringle committed that crime.

The 'substance of all the definitions of probable cause is a reasonable ground for belief of guilt,' Brinegar v. United States, 338 U. S. 160, 175, and that belief must be particularized with respect to the person to be searched or seized, Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U. S. 85, 91. To determine whether an officer had probable cause to make an arrest, a court must examine the events leading up to the arrest, and then decide 'whether these historical facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to' probable cause. Ornelas v. United States, 517 U. S. 690, 696.

As it is an entirely reasonable inference from the facts here that any or all of the car's occupants had knowledge of, and exercised dominion and control over, the cocaine, a reasonable officer could conclude that there was probable cause to believe Pringle committed the crime of possession of cocaine, either solely or jointly. Pringle's attempt to characterize this as a guilt-by-association case is unavailing. Ybarra v. Illinois, supra, and United States v. Di Re, 332 U. S. 581, distinguished. " United States v Banks (2003, US) 157 LEd 2d 343, 124 S Ct 521, December 2d (§§ 44.3, 44. 9, 44. 10, 44. 12, 44. 27):

The U. S. Supreme Court reversed Banks holding that a 20 second delay before a forcible entry after announcement was not unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment or 18 U. S. C. § 3109. The Syllabus follows: "When federal and local law enforcement officers went to respondent Banks's apartment to execute a warrant to search for cocaine, they called out 'police search warrant' and rapped on the front door hard enough to be heard by officers at the back door, waited for 15 to 20 seconds with no response, and then broke open the door.

Banks was in the shower and testified that he heard nothing until the crash of the door. The District Court denied his motion to suppress the drugs and weapons found during the search, rejecting his argument that the officers waited an unreasonably short time before forcing entry in violation of both the Fourth Amendment and 18 U. S. C. § 3109. Banks pleaded guilty, but reserved his right to challenge the search on appeal.

In reversing and ordering the evidence suppressed, the Ninth Circuit found, using a four- part scheme for vetting knock-and-announce entries, that the instant entry had no exigent circumstances, making forced entry by destruction of property permissible only if there was an explicit refusal of admittance or a time lapse greater than the one here. "Held:     "1. The officers' 15-to-20-second wait before forcible entry satisfied the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 4-11.

"(a) The standards bearing on whether officers can legitimately enter after knocking are the same as those for requiring or dispensing with knock and announce altogether. This Court has fleshed out the notion of reasonable execution on a case-by-case basis, but has pointed out factual considerations of unusual, albeit not dispositive, significance. The obligation to knock and announce before entering gives way when officers have reasonable grounds to expect futility or to suspect that an exigency, such as evidence destruction, will arise instantly upon knocking. Richards v. Wisconsin, 520 U. S. 385, 394.

Since most people keep their doors locked, a no-knock entry will normally do some damage, a fact too common to require a heightened justification when a reasonable suspicion of exigency already justifies an unwarned entry. United States v. Ramirez, 523 U. S. 65, 70-71. Pp. 4-6. "(b) This case turns on the exigency revealed by the circumstances known to the officers after they knocked and announced, which the Government contends was the risk of losing easily disposable evidence. After 15 to 20 seconds without a response, officers could fairly have suspected that Banks would flush away the cocaine if they remained reticent.

Each of Banks's counterarguments–that he was in the shower and did not hear the officers, and that it might have taken him longer than 20 seconds to reach the door–rests on a mistake about the relevant enquiry. As to the first argument, the facts known to the police are what count in judging a reasonable waiting time, and there is no indication that they knew that Banks was in the shower and thus unaware of an impending search. As to the second, the crucial fact is not the time it would take Banks to reach the door but the time it would take him to destroy the cocaine.

It is not unreasonable to think that someone could get in a position to destroy the drugs within 15 to 20 seconds. Once the exigency had matured, the officers were not bound to learn anything more or wait any longer before entering, even though the entry entailed some harm to the building. Pp. 6-9. "(c) This Court's emphasis on totality analysis leads it to reject the Government's position that the need to damage property should not be part of the analysis of whether the entry itself was reasonable and to disapprove of the Ninth Circuit's four-part vetting scheme.

Pp. 10-11. "2. The entry here also satisfied 18 U. S. C. § 3109, which permits entry by force 'if, after notice of his authority and purpose, [an officer] is refused admittance. ' Because § 3109 implicates the exceptions to the common law knock-and-announce requirement that inform the Fourth Amendment itself, § 3109 is also subject to an exigent circumstances exception, which qualifies the requirement of refusal after notice, just as it qualifies the obligation to announce in the first place.

Pp. 11-12. 2004NY013984 Anthony J. Ferrara, J. The defendant is charged with obstructing governmental administration in the second degree (PL 195.05) and operation of a vehicle without a safety belt (VTL 1229-c [3]). The information alleges that a police officer observed the defendant in the front passenger seat of an operating motor vehicle not wearing her safety belt. When the officer asked the defendant to identify herself, she refused to provide any form of identification and responded: "I don't have to give you no f**king ID; F**k you, lock me up; I'm not giving you no f**king ID; I don't have sh** for you. " The defendant also refused to be fingerprinted or photographed and thereby allegedly prevented the officer from properly processing her arrest.

The defendant moves to dismiss the obstructing governmental administration charge for facial insufficiency and for various other relief. For the reasons set forth below, the motion to dismiss is denied. An information is facially sufficient if the factual section contains allegations of an evidentiary nature demonstrating reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense charged (CPL 100. 15 [3]; CPL 100. 40 [1] [b]). The facts must be supported by nonhearsay allegations which establish, if true, every element of the charged offense.