Establishes crime of aggravated criminal conduct to provide more severe penalties for persons who have committed 3 or more qualifying misdemeanors or felonies within ten years of the present class A misdemeanor offense.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the criminal procedure law and the penal law, in relation to aggravated criminal conduct
To enhance public safety by providing appropriately severe punishment for those who repeatedly commit misdemeanor crimes. Specifically, the bill would strengthen existing law by creating the crime of aggravated criminal conduct, thereby enabling courts to impose felony sanctions on persistent misdemeanor offenders.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 and 3 of the bill would amend section 180.60(8) and 190.30(3-a) of the Criminal Procedure Law respectively, to include criminal history records among the types of records that are admissible in hearings upon felony complaints and grand jury proceedings. In order to be admissible, such records must be certified by a person designated by the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services as the person to certify such records.
Section 2 would amend section 190.32(2-a) of the Criminal Procedure Law to provide that electronic transmissions of criminal history records are admissible in hearings upon felony complaints and grand jury proceedings under certain conditions.
Section 4 would amend the Penal Law by adding a new section 240.75, which would create the new crime of Aggravated Criminal Conduct, an E felony. A person would commit the Crime of Aggravated Criminal Conduct when he or she: (1) commits an A misdemeanor defined in the Penal Law; and (2) has been previously subjected to three or more qualifying misdemeanor or felony convictions within the preceding ten years.
For purposes of determining whether a person has been previously subjected to three or more qualifying misdemeanor or felony convictions within the preceding ten years, the following conditions would apply: (1) each conviction must have been for a felony, a class A misdemeanor defined in the Penal Law, or a crime in another jurisdiction for which a sentence of at least one year was and is authorized in New York; (2) sentence must have been imposed on each of the prior convictions before commission of the present misdemeanor offense; (3) a suspended sentence, suspended execution of sentence, sentence of probation, sentence of parole supervision, and sentence of conditional or unconditional
discharge are deemed to be a sentence; (4) each sentence must have been imposed not more than ten years before the commission of the present offense except that periods of time spent in confinement toll the ten year limitation; (5) an offense for which a defendant has been pardoned on the ground of innocence is not deemed to be a previous conviction; and (6) prior convictions for which concurrent sentences were imposed are deemed to be only one conviction.
Section 5 provides that the act shall take effect immediately.
Under current law, although offenders who commit multiple felonies reasonably receive enhanced penalties for their repeated felony conduct, offenders who commit multiple misdemeanors generally do not.
Public safety is better protected and promoted by requiring persistent offenders to serve enhanced sentences. While there have been historic decreases in crime across New York State since 1995, repeat misdemeanants continue to plague our streets and communities, often receiving little or no punishment for the offenses they commit. While current law adequately recognizes the harm caused by repeat felony offenders by mandating enhanced penalties, it does not adequately address the problem of misdemeanor recidivism.
A significant majority of those convicted of misdemeanors every year have at least one prior conviction and disturbingly large minority had more than ten prior convictions. Although some of these offenders have criminal histories dating back to the 1970s, few have received meaningful sanctions. Regrettably, current law has afforded these offenders a license to commit misdemeanor offenses virtually without penalty. For many of these offenders, crime is a way of life. Their rap sheets are their resumes and although their crimes are not traditional felony crimes, the constant and repetitive nature of their offenses can be equally damaging to society.
Law-abiding citizens should not be forced to endure the crimes of chronic misdemeanor offenders. The bill, therefore, creates the new felony offense of aggravated criminal conduct and punishes appropriately those who repeatedly commit misdemeanor offenses. Under the bill, an offender who commits his or her fourth misdemeanor (or felony) after having been previously convicted of three or more misdemeanors (or felonies) within the previous ten years will be punished as an E felon and will face up to four years in state prison.
Recognizing the challenges prosecutors may face ensuring that repeat misdemeanor cases are handled properly, the bill also provides that criminal history records, when certified by a person designated by the Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services as the
person to certify such records, including electronic transmissions of such records, are admissible in felony hearings and grand jury proceedings.
It is clear that the current system that has allowed persistent misdemeanor offenders to commit their crimes with minimal or meaningless sanctions is intolerable. Like repeat felons, repeat misdemeanor offenders must face enhanced penalties commensurate with their conduct.
S.1600/A.7759 of 2007-08, Passed Senate; S.3229 of 2005-06, Passed Senate 2005, 2006, A.2632/2009
It is not anticipated that this legislation will have any significant fiscal impact.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 643--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. GOLDEN, BONACIC, DeFRANCISCO, JOHNSON, LANZA, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- recommitted to the Committee on Codes in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law and the penal law, in relation to aggravated criminal conduct THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 8 of section 180.60 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 307 of the laws of 1975, is amended to read as follows: 8. Upon such a hearing, only non-hearsay evidence is admissible to demonstrate reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed a felony; except that reports of experts and technicians in professional and scientific fields and sworn statements, FORMS OR RECORDS of the kinds specified in subdivisions two
[and], three AND THREE-A of section 190.30 are admissible to the same extent as in a grand jury proceeding, unless the court determines, upon application of the defendant, that such hearsay evidence is, under the particular circumstances of the case, not sufficiently reliable, in which case the court shall require that the witness testify in person and be subject to cross-examination. S 2. Subdivision 2-a of section 190.30 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 453 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 2-a. When the electronic transmission of a certified report, FORM OR RECORD, or certified copy thereof, of the kind described in subdivision two or three-a of this section or a sworn statement or copy thereof, of the kind described in subdivision three of this section results in aEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04233-02-2 S. 643--A 2
written document, such written document may be received in such grand jury proceeding provided that: (a) a transmittal memorandum completed by the person sending the report, FORM OR RECORD contains a certification that the report, FORM OR RECORD has not been altered and a description of the report, FORM OR RECORD specifying the number of pages; and (b) the person who receives the electronically transmitted document certi- fies that such document and transmittal memorandum were so received; and (c) a certified report, FORM OR RECORD or a certified copy or sworn statement or sworn copy thereof is filed with the court within twenty days following arraignment upon the indictment; and (d) where such writ- ten document is a sworn statement or sworn copy thereof of the kind described in subdivision three of this section, such sworn statement or sworn copy thereof is also provided to the defendant or his counsel within twenty days following arraignment upon the indictment. S 3. Subdivision 3-a of section 190.30 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 453 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 3-a. A sex offender registration form, sex offender registration continuation/supplemental form, sex offender registry address verifica- tion form, sex offender change of address form, CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD, or a copy of such form OR RECORD, maintained by the division of criminal justice services concerning an individual who is the subject of a grand jury proceeding, may, when certified by a person designated by the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services as the person to certify such FORMS OR records, as a true copy thereof, be received in such grand jury proceeding as evidence of the facts stated therein. S 4. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.75 to read as follows: S 240.75 AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL CONDUCT. 1. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL CONDUCT WHEN SUCH PERSON COMMITS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR DEFINED IN THIS CHAPTER AFTER HAVING BEEN PREVIOUSLY SUBJECTED TO THREE OR MORE QUALIFYING MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY CONVICTIONS WITHIN THE PRECEDING TEN YEARS. 2. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 200.60 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW SHALL APPLY TO ANY PROSECUTION UNDER THIS SECTION. 3. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY SUBJECTED TO THREE OR MORE QUALIFYING MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY CONVICTIONS WITHIN THE PRECEDING TEN YEARS, THE FOLLOWING CRITE- RIA SHALL APPLY: (A) EACH CONVICTION MUST HAVE BEEN IN THIS STATE OF A CLASS A MISDE- MEANOR DEFINED IN THIS CHAPTER OR OF A FELONY, OR OF A CRIME IN ANY OTHER JURISDICTION FOR WHICH A SENTENCE TO A TERM OF IMPRISONMENT OF AT LEAST ONE YEAR OR A SENTENCE OF DEATH WAS AUTHORIZED AND IS AUTHORIZED IN THIS STATE IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER SUCH SENTENCE WAS IMPOSED; (B) SENTENCE UPON EACH SUCH PRIOR CONVICTION MUST HAVE BEEN IMPOSED BEFORE COMMISSION OF THE PRESENT MISDEMEANOR; (C) SUSPENDED SENTENCE, SUSPENDED EXECUTION OF SENTENCE, SENTENCE OF PROBATION, SENTENCE OF PAROLE SUPERVISION, AND SENTENCE OF CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE OR OF UNCONDITIONAL DISCHARGE SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A SENTENCE; (D) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH (E) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, EACH SENTENCE MUST HAVE BEEN IMPOSED NOT MORE THAN TEN YEARS BEFORE COMMIS- SION OF THE PRESENT MISDEMEANOR; (E) IN CALCULATING THE TEN YEAR PERIOD UNDER PARAGRAPH (D) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, ANY PERIOD OF TIME DURING WHICH THE DEFENDANT WAS INCARCER- ATED FOR ANY REASON BETWEEN THE TIME OF COMMISSION OF ANY OF THE PREVI-S. 643--A 3
OUS CONVICTIONS AND THE TIME OF COMMISSION OF THE PRESENT MISDEMEANOR SHALL BE EXCLUDED AND SUCH TEN YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXTENDED BY A PERIOD OR PERIODS EQUAL TO THE TIME SERVED; (F) AN OFFENSE FOR WHICH THE DEFENDANT HAS BEEN PARDONED ON THE GROUND OF INNOCENCE SHALL NOT BE DEEMED A PREVIOUS MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY CONVICTION; (G) WHEN MULTIPLE SENTENCES FOR TWO OR MORE CONVICTIONS WERE IMPOSED AT THE SAME TIME, ALL CONVICTIONS SHALL BE DEEMED TO CONSTITUTE ONLY ONE CONVICTION. 4. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO PRECLUDE A PROSECUTION OR CONVICTION FOR ANY OTHER OFFENSE, A NECESSARY ELEMENT OF WHICH IS A PREVIOUS CONVICTION FOR AN OFFENSE. AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL CONDUCT IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.