Monday, December 19, 2011


We call it a 710.30.  It refers to the section in the NY Criminal Procedure Law that requires us to notify the defendant within fifteen days of his arraignment of any statement he made to the police that we want to use against him at trial.  Otherwise, we can't use it.

As part of the arrest paperwork, police officers provide this notice in writing to the defendant.  The statements are then litigated later on to determine if they were voluntarily made.

As part of our pro se series I'd like to introduce 710.30.  These are statements defendants have actually made to police officers before or after arrest.

The police were called to a store for complaints of a person stealing.  By the time the police arrived, the defendant had left.  The store video crystalized his image forever, however. 

With the video, the police were able to locate a suspect matching the person seen stealing in the store video.

They brought him back to the store and showed him the video.  The questions that followed:

Defendant:  (while watching video) That's not me.
Officer:  Unless you've got a twin, that's you.
Defendant:  I do got a twin.
Officer:  (thinking he may have made a mistake)  What's his name?
Defendant:  Jamaar
Officer:  (believing he may indeed have the wrong person) What's his date of birth?
Defendant:  I don't know that.
Officer:  You're under arrest.
Defendant:  Why?
Officer:  His date of birth is the same as yours.
Defendant:  Oh yeah.  Ya got me.


  1. I laughed for a good ten minutes over that one.

  2. That's another of those 'do you laugh, or do you cry' moments.