2020 NY: Speedy Trial Violation Results in Dismissal
New York Criminal Defendants have Constitutional and Statutory Speedy Trial Rights. People v. Gillson, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op 51171 (Crim. Ct. 2020) highlights one of the earlier cases where lawmakers made clear that a violation of New York Speedy Trial Rights, by statute, means dismissal of the criminal matter. Though the law was recently amended (2022), and will likely be amended again in the future, this case is an example where the delay of more than ninety (90) days on a misdemeanor crime results in a dismissal.
In People v. Gillson, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op 51171 (Crim. Ct. 2020), the Defendant is charged with Assault in the Third Degree, Penal Law § 120.00(2), Leaving the Scene of an Incident without Reporting, VTL § 600(2)(a), Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, VTL § 511(1)(a), Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree, VTL § 511(2)(a)(iv), and Unlicensed Operator, VTL § 509(1). The Court notes the new legislation that took effect on January 1, 202 and recites the New York Speedy Trial Law:
Pursuant to CPL § 30.30(1), the applicable speedy trial time is determined based on the highest charge in the accusatory instrument." People v Brito, 61 Misc 3d 1208 (Crim Ct, Kings County 2018). Where the highest charge against a defendant is a class A misdemeanor, as here, the People are required to state their readiness for trial within 90 days of commencing the criminal action. CPL § 30.30(1)(b). Defendant has the initial burden of demonstrating a delay of more than 90 days. See People v Santos, 68 NY2d 859 (1986). Once defendant has made that showing, the burden shifts to the People to demonstrate that certain periods within that time should be excluded. Id.
The interesting part about this case is that the ninety day period came right before the pandemic hit and, yet, the dismissal appears to stand. Recent amendments to the New York Criminal Procedure Law now allows the prosecutor to appeal such a situation and it is unclear whether such an appeal ever occurred under these circumstances:
On March 20, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order 202.8 and subsequent executive orders, court operations were limited to essential matters during the pendency of the Covid-19 health crisis, including tolling the time limit for service and filing of the instant papers. Furthermore, Executive Order 202.60, issued September 4, 2020 and effective until October 4, 2020, extended the suspension of CPL 30.30 "in a jurisdiction until such time as petit criminal juries are reconvened in that jurisdiction." Petit criminal juries have not yet reconvened in this jurisdiction. Therefore, this entire period is excluded.
The New York Criminal Case is Dismissed - Speedy Trial Violation results in dismissal for the accused. Whether it is traffic or sexual touching, the same New York Criminal Procedure law applies.
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