A New York Criminal Lawyer said that in May 1990, members of the narcotics teams arrested three men for street narcotics sales to undercover police officers. In each case, both the arrest and the evident conduct constituting the crimes was charged occurred entirely within the county and pursuant to an agreement between the district attorney and the special narcotics prosecutor, the criminal actions were commenced by the filing of felony complaints in court.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said that all the three men were arraigned and their cases adjourned for action by the special narcotics grand jury and/or possible disposition by way of waiver of indictment and the filing of superior court’s information. The counsel orally moved for dismissal of the felony complaints on the ground that the court had lacked of geographical authority as defined in law. With the concurrence of all the parties, the court reserved decision and set a schedule for the filing of written motions and memoranda of law.
While the court was waiting from the city of New York’s response, the prosecutor presented the two men’s matters to a special narcotics grand jury. A true bill was voted with respect to each and the charges were filed. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the indictments are currently pending in other special narcotics Supreme Court parts. One of the men has actually entered a guilty plea to a lesser included offense. Consequently, the city of New York moved to dismiss the charges against the other men because the laboratory report showed that the items sold contained no controlled substance. Apparently, the motion was granted by the court.
Contrary to the city of New York’s allegations, all felony complaints charging a penal law offense which are filed and arraigned in court are not sent in part. Rather, only those cases which are being prosecuted by the office of the special narcotics prosecutor appear on the court’s calendar.
Based on records, at common law, there was no proposal better established than that the venue in a criminal case must be laid in the county where the offense was committed.
Furthermore, the city of New York do not allege that the agreement between the district attorney and the special narcotics prosecutor is consistent with the plan which is supposed to be adopted by the district attorneys of all the counties of New York City. In addition, the court is not aware of any such plan being on file, nor has same been made available to the court. Therefore, the court is unable to ascertain to what extent the agreement violates, or is in furtherance of, the plan. Indeed, the court is not even confident that the plan referred to in the judiciary law exists.
Based on records, there is also no hindrance to a waiver of grand jury action and prosecution by superior court information on the out of county cases specifically provides that superior court information has the same force and effect as an indictment and all procedures and provisions of law applicable to indictments are also applicable to superior court information’s, except where otherwise expressly provided. Consequently, article of the judiciary law applies to Superior Court information’s, as well as indictments. As a result, Supreme Court, as a designated special narcotics Supreme Court part, is an appropriate superior court for accepting pleas by way of superior court information, even in cases where all the conduct occurred wholly outside of the county.
Although not expressly stating so, the constitution of the state and the New York City criminal court act, by creating one city-wide court of jurisdiction, allow for felony complaints to be filed in any county of the city alleging overt criminal conduct wholly occurring in a different county of the city. Thus, the court has jurisdiction over the felony complaints and each of the three men’s motion to dismiss the felony complaint against them is denied.
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