A man was charged in a felony complaint with grand larceny in the fourth degree and related charges stemming from an incident occurred. The complaint was filed in the criminal court and the man was subsequently arraigned. He was then released on his own recognizance at arraignment and the man’s case was postponed to an all purpose part. Subsequently, the case was again postponed for grand jury action and the complainant was not ready to proceed. The court then marked the case for final reduction of charges for grand jury action or for a hearing, and adjourned the case. Consequently, no grand jury action had occurred for the reason that the complainant was not prepared to reduce the charges or proceed to a hearing. Sources revealed that there is no good explanation was offered to excuse the lack of progress on the man’s case. As a result, the court dismissed the complaint against the man.
Based on records, a felony complaint is a limited purpose or transitional accusatory tool which serves as the basis for initiating a criminal action but not as a basis for prosecution of the charges. In addition, a local criminal court may dismiss a facially insufficient complaint at arraignment, may arraign an offender and issue a securing order on a complaint, may reduce a complaint, conduct a hearing and take appropriate action upon the completion of a proceeding and may issue an order to determine the offender’s fitness to proceed.
In the context, the offender’s right for a quick hearing becomes a critical component in the criminal prosecution because it is the only way available to an offender to test the quality of the case.
Sources revealed that the major aspect of the right to a quick felony hearing is the means it provides to determine whether there is a basis for a prosecution of the offender, if any, and whether the prosecution will be continued in the Supreme Court by indictment or the local court by way of information. The said legal right appears to the court to require the prosecutor to exercise his/her prosecutorial judgment and determine, in a timely manner, if, and at what level the prosecution will continue. Moreover, due process considerations are clearly implicated when timely and adequate notice of the charges upon which an offender will be tried is not forthcoming.
It also appears to the court that it is incumbent upon a court to take action within the existing constitutional framework to safeguard an offender’s due process rights.
Correspondingly, it has been the court practice to mark felony complaint dockets for final grand jury action, for reduction or for hearing when it appears that such dockets are lying inactive. If there is no grand jury action or if the complainants do not reduce the charges, the court will direct the complainant to proceed to a hearing rather than deferring the case any longer. If the complainants are unable to proceed to the hearing and if no good cause for further postponements is presented, the court will find that the complainant failed to show reasonable cause to believe that the offender committed any offense and dismiss the complaint. It is exactly what occurred in the case and why the court dismissed the instant complaint.
The court asserted that they are attentive that each year’s legislation is proposed by the office of court administration which addresses the problem of stale criminal complaints. The court also respectfully recommended that the legislature explore the problem and take appropriate action on it.
For that reason, the complaint is dismissed with leave to the complainant to continue the action on an appropriate trial accusatory tool within prescribed legal time limitations.
In commencing a legal action, individuals need guidance to perfectly understand the law. If you need assistance with this regard, seek help from the Bronx County Criminal Lawyer. You can also ask the Bronx County Grand Larceny Attorney. Simply visit or call Stephen Bilkis and Associates office for more queries.