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Defendant Moves for Resentencing for Larceny Conviction


Defendant moves for re-sentence of a 1964 conviction in this Court. The sentence in question was ten to fifteen years in Prison for Grand Larceny, first degree, as a third felony offender. He contends that his two prior convictions (both in Washington, D.C.) do not constitute criminal felonies under Sec. 1941 of the Penal Law, which in effect provides that a court may sentence a defendant as a multiple offender if the previous crimes committed by the defendant in a foreign jurisdiction would constitute felonies if committed in New York. His moving papers and memorandum of law show extensive research and his contentions are fortified with numerous citations of authority.

It appears that in April 1946, criminal defendant was convicted of Robbery in the Second Degree, after trial in the District Court, District of Columbia, and sentenced to a term of from two to six years in prison. Again, in 1956, in the same court, upon his plea of guilty to Attempted Robbery, he was sentenced to prison for a term of from one to three years. Defendant contends, however, that the statutes under which he was convicted in the District of Columbia are not proper multiple offender predicates since the said sections define as robbery, acts, which if committed in New York would not be considered felonies.

Defendant argues that since Sec. 22-2901 provides that a robbery may be committed in the District of Columbia by ‘stealth’ but without force that they are not crimes which, if committed within this state, would be a felony and therefore are not a proper basis for sentencing as a third felony offender.

While it is true that the stealth type robbery in the District of Columbia statute was intended to cover pickpockets, the operative part of the indictment and gravamen of the crime is the taking by force or by stealth from the person. It is true that People v. Olah (300 N.Y. 96), holds that if the crime as defined in the foreign state is less than a felony if committed in New York, it may not be considered a sufficient basis for a multiple felony sentence. But the taking by stealth from the person of the victim is a crime which if committed in New York is a felony.

In People v. Oliver (19 Misc.2d 113), the Court said: Thus, the crime of robbery as set forth in the second portion of the Georgia statute and the second count of the indictment, although it may not be equivalent to New York’s crime of robbery, involves, as does ยง 1296 of the Penal Law, a wrongful taking of property from the person of another and, consequently forms a proper basis for multiple offender punishment in New York. It is not necessary that the foreign crime be the same as the New York felony.

An examination of the record indicates that defendant was convicted in 1946 and that the District of Columbia jury found the defendant guilty of the offense charged in the indictment. The offense charged in the indictment was that the defendant by force and violence and against resistance and by putting in fear and by sudden and stealthy seizure and snatching, feloniously did steal, take and carry away, from and off the person of one, etc. Thus there is a conviction of the defendant for a crime which in New York may be considered a felony.

Similarly, in 1956 the defendant, upon his plea of guilty to the crime of Attempted Robbery, as previously defined, was sentenced to jail. This Court have already indicated in this opinion that robbery as defined in the District of Columbia statutes would be a felony if committed in this jurisdiction. Hence, the motion by defendant for re-sentence is denied.

The proper application of laws will be better served if done by a legal expert whose knowledge in the matter has evolved through time and experience. The Stephen Bilkis & Associates and its Nassau County Criminal Attorneys can assist you when issues as in the case above arise.

We can also recommend our Nassau County Robbery Lawyers to help you with your defenses in court in robbery and other related cases.

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