Limits the period of time for which a defendant against whom a misdemeanor complaint is pending in a local criminal court may be held in custody by requiring his or her release if a misdemeanor complaint has not been replaced by a misdemeanor information within 120-144 hours of arrest.
Ayes (32): Adams, Addabbo, Aubertine, Breslin, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Foley, Hassell-Thomps, Johnson C, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Montgomery, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky
Nays (23): Alesi, Farley, Flanagan, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Johnson O, Lanza, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Nozzolio, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Seward, Skelos, Volker, Young
Absent (5): Bonacic, Fuschillo, Huntley, Padavan, Winner
Excused (2): Larkin, Morahan
BILL NUMBER: S164
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to misdemeanor complaints
SUMMARY : The proposed amendments to CPL §170.70 would make the statute parallel to its counterpart, Section 180.80. The changes would require the release from jail of any defendant charged with misdemeanors when the misdemeanor complaint has not been replaced with a legally sufficient misdemeanor information within 120 or 144 hours of the defendant's arrest. The changes proposed in the bill are to commence the time period defined in the statute with the arrest rather than the arraignment and to measure the time period in hours, not days.
JUSTIFICATION : There is no rational basis for measuring the applicable time limits for Sections 180.80 and 170.70 differently. The Legislature amended Section 180.80 in 1981, the point at which time started to run was changed from the time of arraignment to the time of arrest. No similar alteration was made for Section 170.70, apparently because of a simple oversight. There is certainly no legislative history which Supports a distinction between how these two statutes define the commencement of the applicable time period. The current statutes with misdemeanors are for a longer period.
The current statutes resulting in the anomaly of incarcerating many defendants charged only with misdemeanors for a longer period than would be legally permitted if they had been charged with felonies. For example, consider two defendants arrested at 5:00 p.m. on March 3. One is charged with a felony; the other with a misdemeanor. Because of a backlog in the criminal justice system, neither defendant is arraigned in court until March 6. The defendant charged with a felony, however, can be held in jail until March 9, unless he is indicted or has a preliminary hearing or obtain an indictment. In the case of misdemeanor complaint, no witness need appear in court - all that is required is that a witness sign an affidavit attesting to the truth is required is that a witness sign an affidavit attesting to the truth of the matters alleged in the complaint. Upon filing the affidavit, the complaint is deemed converted into an information. Finally, the proposed changes do seek to shorten the time period applicable to equivalent to the 120 hour period proposed in the amendments. Indeed, misdemeanors to the extent that they add 24 more hours for Saturdays and legal holidays, events which under the current language of Section 170.70 do not extend the time. In any event, 120 to 144 hours are required to obtain corroboration of the charges and present it to the court and the defendant. No undo hardship is placed on the prosecution by changing the measurement from day to hours.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Some savings to counties and cities responsible for paying for the costs of incarceration.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 164 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. KRUGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to misdemeanor complaints THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The opening paragraph of section 170.70 of the criminal procedure law is amended to read as follows: Upon application of a defendant against whom a misdemeanor complaint is pending in a local criminal court, and who,
[either at the time of his arraignment thereon or subsequent thereto, has been committed to the custody of the sheriff]SINCE THE TIME OF HIS ARREST OR SUBSEQUENT THER- ETO, HAS BEEN HELD IN CUSTODY pending disposition of the action, and who has been confined in such custody for a period of more than [five days, not including Sunday]ONE HUNDRED TWENTY HOURS, OR IN THE EVENT THAT A SATURDAY, SUNDAY OR LEGAL HOLIDAY OCCURS DURING SUCH CUSTODY, ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR HOURS, without any information having been filed in replacement of such misdemeanor complaint, the criminal court must release the defendant on his own recognizance unless: S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02687-01-9