Relates to the filing of a probation report for certain misdemeanor cases.
BILL NUMBER: S5963
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the filing of a probation report for certain misdemeanor cases
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.
Under CPL 390.20, a pre-sentence report is not required where a person is convicted of a misdemeanor except in limited instances. One of those instances is where the court is pronouncing a sentence in excess of 90 days. Yet, in many cases, there appears to be little additional need for a probation report after a defendant has been found guilty of a misdemeanor and where the court intends to sentence to less than 180 clays in jail Notably, at least for determining a right to a jury trial, a six-month penalty is short enough to classify the offense as 'petty' (see Baldwin v New York, 399 US 66 1970).
Moreover, in the vast majority of cases involving misdemeanors, the cases are resolved by a plea bargain that includes an agreed-upon sentence. As it currently stands, if the court intends to sentence the defendant to between three and six months in jail, it requires at least one additional court appearance, and sometimes several, while a presentence report is prepared and filed. As a practical matter, probation reports on misdemeanor cases following an agreed-upon plea rarely impact the court's sentencing promise. In these cases especially, it is wasteful to delay sentencing and expend public resources for a pre-sentence investigation and report on sentences of short duration.
Although CPL 390.20 currently allows a court to sentence a defendant without a probation report for cases up to 90 days, we believe that it is more appropriate to recognize that, where the court and the parties agree to a sentence without a probation report for a jail term of 180 days or less, a probation report is unnecessary.
This measure would apply to cases where all parties, as well as the court, agree to waive the report. As noted in subdivision 3 of CPL 390.20, the court always maintains the discretion to order a pre-sentence report in any case. Thus, for any case where it would be inappropriate to sentence the defendant without a probation report, the court or one of the parties can require that a probation report be prepared and filed prior to the sentence.
This measure, which would have no meaningful fiscal impact on the State, would take effect immediately.
2008 Legislative History: None. New proposal.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5963 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 19, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. SCHNEIDERMAN -- (at request of the Office of Court Administration) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the filing of a probation report for certain misdemeanor cases THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 390.20 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 413 of the laws of 1991, is amended to read as follows: (b) A sentence of imprisonment for a term in excess of
[ninety]ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY days; S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10094-01-9