Driving While Intoxicated, DWI Dismissed, Speedy Trial


In People v Galindo (Carlos), 2020 NY Slip Op 20147 (Second Dep't. June 12, 2020), a guilty verdict was rendered an the appeal overturned the conviction, a jury verdict, of driving while intoxicated (per se), driving while intoxicated (common law), consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages in certain motor vehicles and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and imposed sentence.


This is an excellent example of good appellate advocacy, the New York City Criminal Defense Attorney overturning the conviction on charges stemming from , an arraignment on a misdemeanor information charging him with aggravated driving while intoxicated (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 [2-a]), driving while intoxicated (per se) (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 [2]), driving while intoxicated (common law) (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 [3]), parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1202 [b] [1]), consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages in certain motor vehicles (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1227 [1]) and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 509 [1]).


New York Criminal Cases linger, in New York City some of these cases linger for years while the accused rots in jail (see People v. Wiggins, 31 N.Y.3d 1, 72 N.Y.S.3d 1, 95 N.E.3d 303 (2018) (determining that over five years incarcerated without a trial is too long).


In this case the court recites a delay:

On April 27, 2015...defendant filed a motion to dismiss the entire misdemeanor information on statutory speedy trial grounds. Of particular importance for this appeal, in court on December 1, 2014, the People answered they were not ready for trial and filed a certificate of readiness (CoR) off-calendar on December 3, 2014. On the next court date, February 11, 2015, the People again answered not ready, without explanation for what caused this change since the filing of the CoR....The Criminal Court...charged the People with only the two days of this adjournment period that preceded the filing of the CoR, found a total of 30 days were chargeable to the People, and denied defendant's motion.

New York DWI Cases, criminal Defendants, have both statutory speedy trial rights and constitutional speedy trial rights. The Wiggins case recapitulates the five factors set forth in People v. Taranovich (37 NY2d 442 (1975)) (“Taranovich”) as the guiding light in evaluating whether the accused is suffering a constitutional violation based on a constitutional speedy trial violation; those factors are "(1) the extent of the delay; (2) the reason for the delay; (3) the nature of the underlying charge; (4) whether or not there has been an extended period of pretrial incarceration; and (5) whether or not there is any indication that the defense has been impaired by reason of the delay." Here, the accused in People v Galindo (Carlos), 2020 NY Slip Op 20147 argued in his motion that, pursuant to People v Sibblies (22 NY3d 1174 [2014]), the prosecutor's representation of readiness "should be deemed illusory and the entire adjournment period should be charged to the People." Even though "The People did not file a response to defendant's motion, and thus did not proffer an explanation for their change of readiness," the lower court excused the people nonetheless. Without a good Criminal Defense Attorney and a Criminal Appellate Attorney, here NYC Legal Aid Society, the rights of the accused would be violated with impunity.

The story is not unique and should remind one of Kalief Browder who, "In 2010, at the age of 16, [Kalief Browder] was arrested after being accused of stealing a backpack. He would spend three years in New York City’s Rikers Island prison, more than two of those years in solitary confinement." Similarly, Reginald Wiggins would enter Rikers Island and languish there for years without a trial. Not unique to Browder after his release, Wiggins has put the city on notice that he intends to sue stating, among other things, that Rikers was a nightmare. It is no wonder that the facility is due to close the “notoriously troubled jail complex over 10 years.”


The Second Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York, recites the law on appeal as it relates to statutory speedy trial:

In People v Brown (28 NY3d 392 [2016]), which was not decided until after defendant had been convicted and sentenced, the Court of Appeals explained that the People "must establish a valid reason for their unreadiness in response to a defendant's CPL 30.30 motion," because it always has been the People's ultimate "obligation in the postreadiness context to ensure 'that the record explains the cause of adjournments sufficiently for the court to determine which party should properly be charged with any delay' "...

The Criminal Defense Appeal is successful and the DWI Conviction is Overturned: "the order dated July 27, 2015 denying defendant's motion to dismiss the accusatory instrument on statutory speedy trial grounds is vacated, defendant's motion is granted, and the fines imposed, if paid, are remitted." Not on constitutional grounds but on the statutory grounds (which has been intermittently suspended by the Governor's COVID-19 Orders, "the People did not satisfy this requirement...the Criminal Court should have...charged the entire adjournment period from December 1, 2014 to February 11, 2015 to the People. This 72-day time period, added to the other 23 days of chargeable time that the court correctly found, and which the People do not dispute..."


New York Driving While Intoxicated Misdemeanors, DWI, and other New York Misdemeanor Charges, can be dismissed if the people are charged with over 90 days of not being ready for trial. See Criminal Procedure Law Section 30.30. The Second Department concludes that the above "renders the People chargeable with a total of 95 days, more than the 90 days statutorily granted to them to be ready for trial in this case, where the most serious charge is a 'misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of more than three months" (CPL 30.30 [1] [b]).' "

The case is People v Galindo (Carlos), 2020 NY Slip Op 20147 (Second Dep't. June 12, 2020), Arrested, Speedy Trial violations, New York Criminal Defense, Florida Criminal Defense, Trials and Appeals; Cory H. Morris, Esq. New York and Florida, Injury, Addiction, Accident, Call the Law Offices of Cory H. Morris, 631-450-2515 (NYS) (954) 998-2918 (FLA).


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