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Weinstein Law Blog

Monday, February 12, 2018

IMPORTANT NEW POLICIES FOR THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

 

The Following Comes Directly from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office:

 

I. NYC Subway Farebeats – Decline to Prosecute All Cases (with very limited exceptions) Effective 2/1/18

Penal Law § 165.15(3)

 

Effective Thursday, February 1, 2018, the Office will decline to prosecute all NYC subway farebeats (where there are no additional charges besides trespass) regardless of criminal history, unless the person poses a public safety concern: 1) any prior violent felony or A-I (non-drug) conviction, unless the sentence was completed more than 10 years ago; 2) any prior sex crimes conviction, felony or misdemeanor; 3) a CSU arrest alert for “Gang Alert” (any county), “City-wide Multi-Hit List,” or “Priority Felony Recidivist Alert;” or 4) if there is any additional information from the NYPD or from our Office that the individual is a driver of crime, and we agree with that assessment. We have given the NYPD advance notice of this new policy.

 

I. Unlicensed General Vendors/Food Vendors– Decline to Prosecute All Cases (with very limited exceptions). Effective 2/1/18

Administrative Code §§ 20-453, 20-461, 17-307(a)(1), 24 RCNY § 89.06(a)

 

Effective Thursday, February 1, 2018, the Office will decline to prosecute all unlicensed general vending cases and food vending cases (with no additional charges), regardless of criminal history, unless the person poses a public safety concern: 1) any prior violent felony or A-I (non-drug) conviction, unless the sentence was completed more than 10 years ago; 2) any prior sex crimes conviction, felony or misdemeanor; 3) a CSU arrest alert for “Gang Alert” (any county), “City-wide Multi-Hit List,” or “Priority Felony Recidivist Alert;” or 4) if there is any additional information from the NYPD or from our Office that the individual is a driver of crime, and we agree with that assessment. We have given the NYPD advance notice of this new policy.

 

III. Project Reset Pre-Arraignment Diversion

Effective 2/1/18

Non-violent misdemeanors

 

Effective Thursday, February 1, 2018, Project Reset will be expanded to serve eligible participants over the age of 18 – first-time arrestees, charged with the same non-violent misdemeanor crimes and issued DATs– with similar pre-arraignment intervention opportunities throughout Manhattan. Patrol Borough Manhattan North will begin tomorrow, and Patrol Borough Manhattan South will begin on July 1, 2018. DA Vance awarded grants to three organizations to handle the programming: 

 

  • Center for Court Innovation
  • Osborne Association
  • Young New Yorkers

 

  1. DAT Processing: those who are first-arrestees issued DATs for low-level, non-violent misdemeanor charges, i.e., petit larceny, trespass, drug or marijuana possession, etc., will be given a letter by the arresting officer that describes the pre-arraignment diversion programs. The letter gives them contact information for the public defender organizations if they have legal questions. Individuals will be told that program staff will contact them if they are eligible for the program. DAT packets will be screened by the Quality of Life Unit. Everyone who is charged with an eligible crime will be eligible for the program unless they are not a first arrest, or if they pose public safety concerns: CSU arrest alert for “Gang Alert” (any county), “City-wide Multi-Hit List,” or “Priority Felony Recidivist Alert,” or if there is any additional information from the NYPD or from our Office that the individual is a driver of crime, and we agree with that assessment. Once eligibility is confirmed, Project Reset staff will contact the individual and set up the programming, which will generally be between two to four hours long. Staff will also affirmatively give them contact information for the public defender organization assigned to represent them on the DAT return date if they have any legal questions. Once the individual completes the program, we DP the case after we receive proof of compliance. A copy of the DP will be mailed to the NYPD and the individual will be sent a completion letter stating that he/she no longer needs to appear in court. Those who do not complete the program, or opt out of it, or are ineligible must appear in court for their scheduled arraignment date. Please note: the Reset number listed in the letter is an automated information line where the individual can find out which program to contact. This is helpful if the individual has trouble reading. There is no live person from my office answering this phone.

We anticipate that these three initiatives alone will reduce intake by approximately 13,500 cases. We are also currently working on two additional pre-arraignment diversion programs:  Project Green Light for VTL § 511 cases (only for failure to answer a summons or pay a fine) that will likely begin by March 1, 2018, and Manhattan Hope for low-level drug users that will likely begin on August 1, 2018. We anticipate these two additional initiatives will result in 4,800 fewer cases over the course of one year.

 

JACOB Z. WEINSTEIN is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.  Call 646-450-3484 now for the representation you want.



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As a former prosecutor, I fully understand the power law enforcement has. As a trial attorney, I know the law seems very scary.