Speedy Trial

Law Offices Of Robert Briere 212-786-2999

Getting a case dismissed for violation of New York's Speedy Trial Law under NY CPL 30.30.

Below is Section one of  30.30 (New York's Speedy Trial Statute) and discusses the time limitations for various levels of charges:

"Except as otherwise provided in subdivision three, a motion made pursuant to paragraph (e) of subdivision one of section 170.30 or paragraph (g) of subdivision one of section 210.20 must be granted where the people are not ready for trial within:

(a) six months of the commencement of a criminal action wherein a defendant is accused of one or more offenses, at least one of which is a felony;
 
(b) ninety days of the commencement of a criminal action wherein a defendant is accused of one or more offenses, at least one of which is a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of more than three months and none of which is a felony;
 
(c) sixty days of the commencement of a criminal action wherein the defendant is accused of one or more offenses, at least one of which is a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than three months and none of which is a crime punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of more than three months;

(d) thirty days of the commencement of a criminal action wherein the defendant is accused of one or more offenses, at least one of which is a violation and none of which is a crime."

Essentially what the above paragraph means is that under C.P.L. 30.30(1)(a) a Defendant charged with a felony is entitled to dismissal if the People are not ready for trial within six months of the commencement of the criminal action.  Under C.P.L. 30.30(1)(b), a Defendant charged with a class A misdemeanor is entitled to a dismissal of the Information if the People are not ready for trial within 90 days of the commencement of the criminal action. Under Under C.P.L. 30.30(1)(c), a Defendant charged with a class B misdemeanor is entitled to a dismissal of the Information if the People are not ready for trial within 60 days of the commencement of the criminal action. Under C.P.L. 30.30(1)(d), a Defendant charged with a violation is entitled to a dismissal of the Information if the People are not ready for trial within 60 days of the commencement of the criminal action. 

 Section 2 has  the first exception to CPL 30.30(1)

2.  (b) A motion made pursuant to subdivisions one or two upon expiration of the specified period may be denied where the people are not ready for trial if the people were ready for trial prior to the expiration of the specified period and their present unreadiness is due to some exceptional fact or circumstance, including, but not limited to,
the sudden unavailability of evidence material to the people's case, when the district attorney has exercised due diligence to obtain such evidence and there are reasonable grounds to believe that such evidence will become available in a reasonable period. 

After the exception of Section 2  Section 4 of CPL 30.30(2) sets forth a laundry list of circumstances under which the time is not counted towards a dismissal :


 "4. In computing the time within which the people must be ready for trial pursuant to subdivisions one and two, the following periods must be excluded:

(a) a reasonable period of delay resulting from other proceedings concerning the defendant, including but not limited to: proceedings for the determination of competency and the period during which defendant is incompetent to stand trial; demand to produce; request for a bill of particulars; pre-trial motions; appeals; trial of other charges; and the period during which such matters are under consideration by the court; or

(b) the period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by the court at the request of, or with the consent of, the defendant or his counsel. The court must grant such a continuance only if it is satisfied that postponement is in the interest of justice, taking into account the public interest in the prompt dispositions of criminal charges. A defendant without counsel must not be deemed to have consented to a continuance unless he has been advised by the court of his rights under these rules and the effect of his consent; or
 
(c) (i) the period of delay resulting from the absence or unavailability of the defendant. A defendant must be considered absent whenever his location is unknown and he is attempting to avoid apprehension or prosecution, or his location cannot be determined by due diligence. A defendant must be considered unavailable whenever his location is known but his presence for trial cannot be obtained by due diligence; or (ii) where the defendant has either escaped from custody or has failed to appear when required after having previously been released on bail or on his own recognizance, and provided the defendant is not in custody on another matter, the period extending from the day the court issues a bench warrant pursuant to section 530.70 because of the defendant's failure to appear in court when required, to the day the defendant subsequently appears in the court pursuant to a bench warrant or voluntarily or otherwise; or

(d) a reasonable period of delay when the defendant is joined for trial with a co-defendant as to whom the time for trial pursuant to this section has not run and good cause is not shown for granting a severance; or

(e) the period of delay resulting from detention of the defendant in another jurisdiction provided the district attorney is aware of such detention and has been diligent and has made reasonable efforts to obtain the presence of the defendant for trial; or

(f) the period during which the defendant is without counsel through no fault of the court; except when the defendant is proceeding as his own attorney with the permission of the court; or

(g) other periods of delay occasioned by exceptional circumstances, including but not limited to, the period of delay resulting from a continuance granted at the request of a district attorney if (i) the continuance is granted because of the unavailability of evidence material to the people's case, when the district attorney has exercised due diligence to obtain such evidence and there are reasonable grounds to believe that such evidence will become available in a reasonable period; or (ii) the continuance is granted to allow the district attorney additional time to prepare the people's case and additional time is justified by the exceptional circumstances of the case. (h) the period during which an action has been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal pursuant to sections 170.55, 170.56 and 215.10 of this chapter. (i) The period prior to the defendant's actual appearance for arraignment in a situation in which the defendant has been directed to appear by the district attorney pursuant to subdivision three of section 120.20 or subdivision three of section 210.10. (j) the period during which a family offense is before a family court until such time as an accusatory instrument or indictment is filed against the defendant alleging a crime constituting a family offense, as such term is defined in section 530.11 of this chapter."

As one can easily see, there are many reasons why time is excludable under CPL 30.30(4)

The following section of CPL 30.30 is important for individuals who have received desk appearance tickets and showed up on the date but the prosecutor was not ready for an arraignment:

(b) where a defendant has been served with an appearance ticket, the criminal action must be deemed to have commenced on the date the defendant first appears in a local criminal court in response to the ticket;

Below is important for those whose charges have been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor since it explains the applicable sppeedy trial time period:

(c) where a criminal action is commenced by the filing of a felony complaint, and thereafter, in the course of the same criminal action either the felony complaint is replaced with or converted to an information, prosecutor's information or misdemeanor complaint pursuant to article 180 or a prosecutor's information is filed pursuant to section 190.70, the period applicable for the purposes of subdivision one must be the period applicable to the charges in the new accusatory instrument, calculated from the date of the filing of such new accusatory instrument; provided, however, that when the aggregate of such period and the period of time, excluding the periods provided in subdivision four, already elapsed from the date of the filing of the felony complaint to the date of the filing of the new accusatory instrument exceeds six months, the period applicable to the charges in the felony complaint must remain applicable and continue as if the new accusatory instrument had not been filed; (d) where a criminal action is commenced by the filing of a felony complaint, and thereafter, in the course of the same criminal action either the felony complaint is replaced with or converted to an information, prosecutor's information or misdemeanor complaint pursuant to article 180 or a prosecutor's information is filed pursuant to section 190.70, the period applicable for the purposes of subdivision two must be the period applicable to the charges in the new accusatory instrument, calculated from the date of the filing of such new accusatory instrument; provided, however, that when the aggregate of such period and the period of time, excluding the periods provided in subdivision four, already elapsed from the date of the filing of the felony complaint to the date of the filing of the new accusatory instrument exceeds ninety days, the period applicable to the charges in the felony complaint must remain applicable and continue as if the new accusatory instrument had not been filed. (e) where a count of an indictment is reduced to charge only a misdemeanor or petty offense and a reduced indictment or a prosecutor's information is filed pursuant to subdivisions one-a and six of section 210.20, the period applicable for the purposes of subdivision one of this section must be the period applicable to the charges in the new accusatory instrument, calculated from the date of the filing of such new accusatory instrument; provided, however, that when the aggregate of such period and the period of time, excluding the periods provided in subdivision four of this section, already elapsed from the date of the filing of the indictment to the date of the filing of the new accusatory instrument exceeds six months, the period applicable to the charges in the indictment must remain applicable and continue as if the new accusatory instrument had not been filed; (f) where a count of an indictment is reduced to charge only a misdemeanor or petty offense and a reduced indictment or a prosecutor's information is filed pursuant to subdivisions one-a and six of section 210.20, the period applicable for the purposes of subdivision two of this section must be the period applicable to the charges in the new accusatory instrument, calculated from the date of the filing of such new accusatory instrument; provided, however, that when the aggregate of such period and the period of time, excluding the periods provided in subdivision four of this section, already elapsed from the date of the filing of the indictment to the date of the filing of the new accusatory instrument exceeds ninety days, the period applicable to the charges in the indictment must remain applicable and continue as if the new accusatory instrument had not been filed.




6. The procedural rules prescribed in subdivisions one through seven of section 210.45 with respect to a motion to dismiss an indictment are also applicable to a motion made pursuant to subdivision two.

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