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Effective January 1, 2020, Criminal Justice Reforms in New York State will apply to all cases pending on that date even if the matter commenced before that date.  They will be many significant changes to how criminal matters will proceed. 

Some important changes include that:  Discovery will be automatic and there will not be a need for written demands or discovery motions.  The district attorneys offices will be required to provide discovery to defense counsel not later than 15 days after the defendant’s arraignment on any accusatory instrument.  This includes a misdemeanor complaint, felony complaint, or any other instrument.  In regard to bail, Desk Appearance Tickets will be issued in all cases except those where the arrest is for a Class A, B, C, D felony or a violation of some sex offenses, escape and bail jumping.  The new reforms has a mandatory release with nonmonetary conditions for almost all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.  In regard to the speedy trial, the district attorney’s “ready” statement is not valid unless the DA has filed a proper certificate of compliance affirming that the discovery obligations are complete.  Vehicle and Traffic infractions will be considered “offenses” for 30.30 purposes.  The bill reduces the maximum sentence for a Class A and certain unclassified misdemeanors from 1 year to 364 days to benefit non citizens in several ways in regard to possible deportation ramifications.  Non driving drug convictions will not be subject to license suspensions.  There will also be a prohibition on employment and housing discrimination against people with open adjournment in contemplation of dismissals (ACOD’s).  There is also a bill to raise the monetary threshold for felony criminal mischief from $250.00 to $1000.00.  Representing someone who is charged with a crime after January 1, 2010 will be vastly different than it is today.  There are a lot of changes coming within a short period of time in the criminal justice system in New York State and we will see how all of these changes play out.