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Court Decides Jurisdiction in Sex Crimes Case


Court cases are rarely tried strictly on the facts of the case. In almost every case that comes to trial, the issues that cause a mistrial or cause a conviction usually come down to points of legality. Because trials are investigations into the application of statute upon a set of facts or circumstances, it is critical that a defendant is represented by an attorney. In the case of a domestic violence offense, it is even more important. Domestic violence laws change almost daily. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said it is imperative to the proper defense of a case that the legality of the statutes that are applied are reviewed and questioned.

In one particular case that was heard in the Supreme court, appellate Division, Second Department, New York, the justices were called upon to review a domestic violence case in which the defendant was charged with misdemeanor aggravated harassment in the second degree. He was charged with three counts. The case was initiated in Criminal Court, Kings County. By an order dated January 31, 2007, the action was removed from Criminal Court and transferred to the Domestic Violence Part of the Supreme Court in Kings County. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the misdemeanor complaint was converted to an information dated February 7, 2007. A bench trial convicted the defendant of three counts of attempted aggravated harassment in the second degree.

The defendant appealed his conviction. He claimed that the Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction over his case because he was never indicted by a grand jury. He argued that minus a formal indictment, there was no superior court information. He relied on CPL 210.05 to support his contentions.

CPL 210.05 maintains that in order for the Supreme Court to have legislative jurisdiction over a case, it must have obtained the case through the Grand Jury as an indictment, or from the Superior Court as an Information. Neither of which was done in this case. The Supreme Court disagrees. The N.Y. Constitution Article VI § 7(a) gives the Supreme Court legislative jurisdiction over all cases unless its jurisdiction has been specifically proscribed. It states in CPL 10.20(1) that the Supreme Court and the County Court have exclusive trial jurisdiction of felonies; and trial jurisdiction of misdemeanors concurrent with local criminal courts. A Nassau County Criminal Lawyer said it also states that trial jurisdiction of petty offenses fall under this jurisdiction but only when the offense is charged in an indictment which also is charged as a crime.

Because of this interpretation, local criminal courts’ concurrent jurisdiction of misdemeanor cases is subject to removal from the local criminal court to the superior court with or without an indictment. The Supreme Court states that the authority to transfer misdemeanor cases to the IDV Parts of the Supreme Court is found under New York Constitution article VI §§ 28 and 30 and Judiciary Law § 211.

Judiciary Law § 211 gives the Chief Judge the constitutional authority to regulate the transfer of all cases among all of the sections of courts. In addition, New York Constitution article VI § 19 allows the Supreme Court the authority to transfer any case to itself. The only requirement of the Supreme Court in transferring a case to itself is that the Supreme Court ensure that the transfer will promote the administration of justice.

A Queens Criminal Lawyer said because of these findings, the Supreme Court determined that there was no question that they had jurisdiction in the case. The case was tried in a proper venue and the conviction is upheld. Whenever a person finds themselves facing a legal situation, it is in their best interest to have a lawyer like Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Their Domestic Violence Lawyers are familiar with handling cases in family court as well as Criminal and Supreme; we can offer the client the representation that they need. Venue questions do not faze us. We have offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. Being able to defend the client’s interest is of the utmost importance to us.

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