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Case Deals with Drug Reform Act of 2009


Three men committed class B felonies involving narcotics and were sentenced to undetermined prison terms under the Rockefeller drug laws which governed sentencing of drug offenders. A New York Criminal Lawyer said two of them received sentences of 2 to 6 years and the other man was sentenced with 5 to 10 years. All were paroled but violated it and all of them were sent back to prison. After the enactment of the drug law reform act of 2009, the three men applied for resentencing.

Based on records, the drug law reform act of 2009 allows certain prisoners sentenced under the so-called Rockefeller drug laws to be resentenced. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the court hold that prisoners who have been paroled and then re-incarcerated for violating their parole are not for that reason to banned from seeking relief under the law.

Further, the drug law reform act of 2009 is codified. It permits people imprisoned for class B drug felonies committed while the Rockefeller Drug Laws were in force to apply to be resentenced under the current, less severe, sentencing regime. It was stated that any person in the custody of the department of correctional services convicted of a class B felony offense defined in the law which was committed prior to January thirteenth, who is serving an indeterminate sentence with a maximum term of more than three years, may except as provided in the law, upon notice to the appropriate district attorney, apply to be resentenced to a determinate sentence in accordance with sections of the penal law in the court which imposed the sentence.

The Supreme Court denied the applications of the three men, holding the relief under the criminal law that it was not available to re-incarcerated parole violators. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said that on part of the two men, the appellate division agreed with the conclusion and affirmed. The appeal of the other man was reversed by the appellate division, holding that the drug law reform act of 2009 did not render parole violators ineligible to apply for resentencing.

The jury argues that the two men’s cases are also arguable but the court disagrees. Even if the first man’s maximum sentence for his original drug crime conviction has now expired, he was sentenced in another case involving a later crime while he was still imprisoned on the earlier charge. If he is resentenced on the earlier charge, that resentencing could affect the time credited toward his later sentence. As for the second man, the expiration date of his maximum sentence has not been reached. He has again been released on parole and that release does not defeat the application for resentencing that he made while still in prison. The court of appeals retains control with the two men.

The two men fit squarely within the text of the drug law reform act of 2009. Both were, when they applied for resentencing, in the custody of the department of correctional services and both were convicted of class B felonies defined in the penal law as offenses committed on controlled substances. Both were serving indeterminate sentences with a maximum exceeding three years and the exceptions do not apply to them. A New York Sex Crime Lawyer said the section excludes from the coverage of the drug law reform act of 2009 anyone serving a sentence, or having a predicate felony conviction, for a crime designated an exclusion offense, nothing in the subdivision of the law refers to the parole status of an offender.

Consequently, the appellate division orders that the two men’s case decision should be reversed. Further, the cases remitted to Supreme Court were for further proceedings in accordance with the opinion. The appeal of the other man is dismissed.

If you made unlawful actions and later realized that you wanted to change for the better, you can ask the services of the Bronx Criminal Attorneys. The team can offer immediate assessment of your lawsuit. If you wish to put your drug related cases behind you, you or your family member may seek the advice of Bronx Drug Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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