New York Criminal Procedure Changes Benefit Defendants

After the 2019-20 state budget was passed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, significant changes to the way criminal cases are handled take effect that benefits the defense. These new provisions require prosecutors to share pertinent information in a timely manner.

Here are the following changes to the criminal proceedings in New York, starting January 1, 2020:

  • Prosecutors must provide all their evidence to the defense within 15 days of the charge being filed. Currently, prosecutors can wait to release this information just before trial.
  • Prosecutors must disclose all alleged statements made by the defendant to police officers prior to grand jury proceedings, rather than at arraignment.
  • Prosecutors must give the defense the names and contact information of anyone they know that has information related to the criminal case.
  • The defense has access to portions of grand jury transcripts. As of right now, these transcripts are unavailable to the defense.
  • Regarding DWI cases, law enforcement must provide the defense with all records, calibrations, and certifications of breath testing devices prior to an arrest within 15 days.
  • Any “Brady material” that is beneficial for the defense must be turned over within 15 days.
  • Law enforcement must quickly inform prosecutors of electronic evidence such as body camera footage and audio or face sanctions if they fail to do so.
  • End cash bail for low-level misdemeanor and felony offenses.
  • End driver’s license suspension for anyone convicted of a non-driving drug crime.

Many criminal defense attorneys in Westchester County believe the changes will give defendants a fairer opportunity to fight the charges they face since they will have access to any evidence related to their alleged crimes.

If you have been arrested for a DWI or another crime in Westchester, contact The Law Offices of Robert Schuster today at (914) 241-0004 for a free telephone consultation.