Vehicle & Traffic Law Infractions - Criminal Justice Reform 2019
Criminal Procedure Law § 30.30, New York’s speedy trial statute, has been amended and the changes will be effective January 1, 2020.
An individual can now have his Vehicle & Traffic Law infraction dismissed on statutory speedy trial grounds. So, for example, where the prosecutor is not ready for trial on a non-criminal offense under the Vehicle & Traffic Law within thirty days, then the accused can move for dismissal under Criminal Procedure Law § 30.30(1)(e).
An individual can now appeal from the denial of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law § 30.30(1) even if that person entered a guilty plea. In other words, an individual does not lose his ability to appeal the denial of his/her speedy trial motion when he/she pleads guilty. This rule has been codified in a new subsection (6) of Criminal Procedure Law § 30.30.
The law surrounding a prosecutor’s ability to declare their readiness for trial has also changed. Subsection (5) of Criminal Procedure Law § 30.30 has been amended to read: “Whenever . . . a prosecutor states or otherwise provides notice that the people are ready for trial, the court shall make inquiry on the record as to their actual readiness. If after conducing its inquiry, the court determines that the people are not ready to proceed to trial, the prosecutor’s statement or notice of readiness shall not be valid . . .” It continues by requiring any statement or trial readiness to be accompanied or preceded by a certification of good faith compliance with the new disclosure requirements of Criminal Procedure Law § 245.20. Moreover, it provides the defense with the opportunity to be heard on the record as to whether the disclosure requirements have been met.