In April of this year, the Democrat controlled Assembly and Senate passed sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention, overhauling rules governing the sharing of evidence, and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
In New York City, 43 percent of the almost 5,000 people detained pretrial on April 1, 2019 would have been released under the new legislation. Outside of New York City, the effects could be even greater.
Of the almost 205,000 criminal cases arraigned in New York City in 2018, only 10 percent would have been eligible for money bail under the new law.
Under the new New York State laws going into effect as of January 1st, what was once common practice by police agencies, most serious Drug, Sex, Bribery, Manslaughter and Assault arrests, will garner only appearance tickets for defendants. Gone are the days when a defendant appeared before a judge for arraignment who determined if the defendant was a possible threat to society.
According to Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, the new regulations will also create a nightmare for police, especially in Upstate New York, requiring faster submission of paperwork, technical and paperwork/electronic duplications and in some cases allowing defendants to view crime scenes, putting victims under more stress.
Some of the misdemeanor and felony arrests where the arraignment and possible jailing of defendants include:
- Assault in the third degree
- Aggravated vehicular assault
- Aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven years old
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Aggravated vehicular homicide
- Manslaughter in the second degree
- Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree
- Coercion in the first degree
- Arson in the third and fourth degree
- Grand larceny in the first degree
- Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds or criminal possession of a firearm
- Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and second degree
- Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first and second degree
- Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds
- Specified felony drug offenses involving the use of children, including the use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense and criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child
- Criminal solicitation in the first degree and criminal facilitation in the first degree
- Money laundering in support of terrorism in the third and fourth degree
- Making a terroristic threat
- Patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone
- Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child
- Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
- Promoting a sexual performance by a child
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- Obstructing governmental administration in the first and second degree
- Obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device
- Bribery in the first degree
- Bribe giving for public office
- Bribe receiving in the first degree
- Promoting prison contraband in the first and second degree
- Resisting arrest
- Hindering prosecution
- Tampering with a juror and tampering with physical evidence
- Aggravated harassment in the first degree
- Directing a laser at an aircraft in the first degree
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree
- Criminal sale of a firearm to a minor
- Enterprise corruption and money laundering in the first degree
- Aggravated cruelty
- Animal fighting.