Misdemeanor Accusatory Instrument in a Drug Possession Case

In People v. Kalin, 12 NY3d 225, 906 N.E.2d 381, 878 N.Y.S.2d 653 (2009), the Court held that the misdemeanor accusatory instrument in that drug possession case satisfied the legal criteria for an information even though the People did not have a corroborating lab report, or a field test. The Court held that a non-hearsay based accusatory instrument in which a police officer alleges that an item recovered is a "particular type of controlled substance" is an information where the "factual allegations . . . establish a basis of the arresting officer's belief." Id.at 229. This can be satisfied if, for example, "the accused made a statement identifying the drug." Id. It can also be satisfied if the officer describes the substance recovered in some physical way, and then states that based upon his or her training and experience in recognizing controlled substances and marihuana, the officer believes the substance recovered is one of those items. Id.at 230- 31.