Bill S4470-2011

Relates to the speedy trial of certain traffic infractions

Relates to the speedy trial of certain traffic infractions.

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Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Apr 6, 2011: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4470

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the speedy trial of certain traffic infractions

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Advisory Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure.

This measure would amend the Criminal Procedure Law to authorize a court to dismiss any traffic infraction that remains as the sole charge in an accusatory instrument the other charges of which were dismissed pursuant to CPL 30.30.

Traffic infractions do not fall within the offenses for which CPL 30.30 provisions apply (see People v Gonzalez, 168 Misc.2d 136 (App Term 1st Dept 1996)). As noted in the Commentary to CPL 30.30, speedy trial provisions do not apply to traffic infractions because CPL 30.30(1)(d) specifically applies to "offenses," and a traffic infraction is only a "petty offense."

In practice, especially in DWI cases, a prosecutor will often charge a defendant with misdemeanor or felony criminal charges (i.e., VTL 1192(2)) as well as a lesser included traffic infraction (VTL 1192(1)). In cases where the prosecutor fails to timely announce readiness on the more serious charges, and the defense files a successful 30.30 motion, however, the court is authorized to dismiss the misdemeanor or felony counts but not the traffic infraction. Although constitutional speedy limitations will still apply (see e.g., People v Polite, 16 Misc.3d 18 (App Term 1st Dept 2007), citing People v Taranovich, 37 NY2d 442 (1975)), this generally permits a much greater period of delay. In the end, by not being able to dismiss the traffic infraction, the case continues to languish in the criminal courts, congesting dockets and rarely being resolved on the merits. To the extent that speedy trial rules promote fair and efficient practice, it would be helpful to grant courts the authority to dismiss traffic infractions at the same time the court is compelled to dismiss all other charges in the same accusatory instrument.

By this measure, we are not recommending a general speedy trial rule for traffic infractions. Instead, the measure provides that where a traffic infraction is charged in the same accusatory instrument with other charges, at least one of which is a violation, misdemeanor or felony, any traffic infraction will not survive longer than the other, more serious, charges. Notably, this measure keeps in place the current procedures for routine traffic infractions not filed as pa11 of more serious charges in an accusatory instrument.

This measure, which would have no fiscal impact on the State, would take effect on the first day of November next succeeding the date on

which it shall have become a law and apply to all criminal actions whenever commenced.

2008 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None. New proposal.

2009-10 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Senate 5961 (Schneiderman) (Codes) Assembly 7960 (M. of A. Perry (PASSED)


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4470 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 6, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- (at request of the Office of Court Admin- istration) -- 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 the speedy trial of certain traffic infractions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 30.30 of the criminal procedure law is amended by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows: (D) WHERE A MOTION TO DISMISS ALL OFFENSES CHARGED IN AN ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT MUST BE GRANTED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, AND SUCH ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT CHARGES ONE OR MORE TRAFFIC INFRACTIONS, SUCH TRAFFIC INFRACTION OR INFRACTIONS SHALL ALSO BE DISMISSED. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law, and shall apply to criminal actions commenced after such effective date.

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