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Defendant Contends Charges Should be Dismissed for Unreasonable Delay


The People of the State of New York are the plaintiffs in this case and the defendant. The case is being heard in front of the Supreme Court of Bronx County.

Case Background

The defendant has a history of being a violent predicate felon. In June of 1996 he was charged with assaulting three correctional officers using a sharpened toothbrush. During this time he was in prison. He entered a guilty plea for second degree assault regarding this matter.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant was originally incarcerated for attempted rape in the first degree. He was accused of throwing a woman down and shouting at her. He demanded sexual intercourse from her and threatened her with death. For this charge, the defendant entered prison on the 18th of January, 1995. The incident with the correctional officers took place nearly a year and a half after this. The defendant has still not been sentenced regarding the attempted rape charges, nearly two years after being incarcerated.

Current Objection

The defendant argues that the delay of sentencing has violated CPL 380.30. He has moved to have the Court divested of its jurisdiction in the matter and his conviction to be vacated. He also wishes for the accusatory instrument to be dismissed. He argues that the failure to pronounce a sentence without an unreasonable delay has prejudiced him.

Court Discussion

The question before the court is whether or not the consecutive for the current charges of assault may be imposed.

Criminal law mandates that a sentence must be imposed without an unreasonable delay and is fairly straightforward on this issue. However, New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said what is reasonable and how unreasonable a time frame must be is left undefined by the statutes. Courts are given the right to hold presentence investigations into the matter.

When reviewing the history of the case it is found that the defendant has repeatedly asked for and received adjournment for his sentencing hearings in the New York County court. It is found that the period of deferral, since at least June of 1996, has been on account of the defendant’s own requests. There has been a reasonable amount of information given to the court as to why the sentencing of the defendant has been delayed for this period of time.

Court Decision

To summarize, whether a dismissal is warranted is dependent on the time of the delay and the causes for it. Generally speaking, when a delay has been long and there is no explanation behind it, a court will find it unreasonable. However, when plausible reasons are provided, the Court typically holds that the time has not been unreasonable. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said there have been plausible reasons provided to the court as to why the delay has occurred. The defendant has accounted for several of the reasons for the delay as he has asked for it during the preliminary investigative hearings.

In this particular case, in the interest of justice, the consecutive sentencing of the defendant will be visited at a later date. The New York County court, where the rape case took place will have jurisdiction over determining his first sentence. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said he will be sentenced in this matter second as it was the second offense to take place.

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