|SAME AS||SAME AS S04294|
|COSPNSR||Nolan, Glick, Dinowitz, Rosenthal L, Abinanti, Simotas, Quart, Seawright, Simon, Gottfried, Peoples-Stokes, Weprin, Sepulveda, Mosley, De La Rosa, Hyndman, Perry, Jaffee, Dilan, Walker, Dickens, Ortiz|
|Amd §70.15, Pen L|
|Reduces certain sentences of imprisonment for misdemeanors to three hundred sixty-four days.|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4881 SPONSOR: Crespo
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to reducing certain sentences of imprisonment for misdemeanors to three hundred sixty-four days   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL: Reduces the maximum sentence for misdemeanor offenses from one year to three hundred sixty-four days.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Bill section one amends subdivisions 1 of section 70.15 of the Penal Law to reduce by one day, from one year (365 days) to 364 days, the maximum definite sentence of imprisonment that may be imposed for a misdemeanor conviction. A conforming change is made to PL § 70.15 (3), to extend that one day reduction to provisions of law outside the Penal Law that otherwise authorize a misdemeanor sentence of up to one year imprison- ment. Bill section two adds a new subdivision 1-a to Penal Law § 70.15. This subdivision extends this one day reduction to misdemeanor sentences of one year imposed before, on or after the effective date of the bill. The change will occur by operation of law; any person sentenced to a period of one year under the former provisions of law would be able to obtain an updated certificate of conviction from the court setting forth such amended sentence. Bill section three provides that the bill will take effect immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: Because of the way New York's Penal Law interacts with federal immi- gration law, non-citizens, including lawful permanent residents, with recent or long-past criminal charges sometimes face unexpected and undu- ly harsh immigration consequences. One significant concern arises because the maximum potential sentence of imprisonment for conviction of a Class A misdemeanor in New York is one year imprisonment. Under federal immigration law, the potential for a one year sentence can trigger deportation proceedings and removal from the United States in many circumstances, even when the person spent no time in jail at all. Further, an actual sentence of one year in jail for a misdemeanor conviction serves to disqualify New Yorkers in some vulnerable popu- lations from consideration for certain protections, such as asylum (based on a well-founded fear of persecution in the foreign country) and protection from domestic violence. Such a sentence also divests immigration judges, in certain cases, of discretion to consider circumstances that may militate against deporta- tion, such as long-term residence in the U.S., past military service, and others. Unnecessary deportations adversely affect the financial and social systems in New York. When New Yorkers - many of whom have been green card holders for decades - are deported for lesser crimes and denied consideration for immigration relief, families may become dependent on social services and safety net assistance, children may have to forego education, tax revenues decrease, and employers may experience signif- icant difficulties due to a loss of qualified workers. New York is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country. More than twenty percent of New Yorkers are foreign born. Throughout New York's history, immigrant populations have contributed immensely to the economy and the cultural fabric of this state. Rigid immigration consequences in the law should not be countenanced. The modest change in this legislation will assure appropriate discretion for federal immi- gration authorities in certain matters, and help protect this group of non-citizens from arbitrary deportation and the denial of consideration of individual circumstances.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A. 9857 (2016) (Crespo)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4881 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY February 3, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. CRESPO, NOLAN, GLICK, DINOWITZ, KAVANAGH, ROSEN- THAL, ABINANTI, MOYA, SIMOTAS, QUART, SEAWRIGHT, SIMON -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to reducing certain sentences of imprisonment for misdemeanors to three hundred sixty-four days The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 70.15 of the penal law, 2 subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 291 of the laws of 1993, are amended 3 to read as follows: 4 1. Class A misdemeanor. A sentence of imprisonment for a class A 5 misdemeanor shall be a definite sentence. When such a sentence is 6 imposed the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed [ one7 year] three hundred sixty-four days; provided, however, that a sentence 8 of imprisonment imposed upon a conviction of criminal possession of a 9 weapon in the fourth degree as defined in subdivision one of section 10 265.01 must be for a period of no less than [ one year] three hundred 11 sixty-four days when the conviction was the result of a plea of guilty 12 entered in satisfaction of an indictment or any count thereof charging 13 the defendant with the class D violent felony offense of criminal 14 possession of a weapon in the third degree as defined in subdivision 15 four of section 265.02, except that the court may impose any other 16 sentence authorized by law upon a person who has not been previously 17 convicted in the five years immediately preceding the commission of the 18 offense for a felony or a class A misdemeanor defined in this chapter, 19 if the court having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime 20 and to the history and character of the defendant, finds on the record 21 that such sentence would be unduly harsh and that the alternative 22 sentence would be consistent with public safety and does not deprecate 23 the seriousness of the crime. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09671-01-7A. 4881 2 1 3. Unclassified misdemeanor. A sentence of imprisonment for an unclas- 2 sified misdemeanor shall be a definite sentence. When such a sentence is 3 imposed the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall be in accordance 4 with the sentence specified in the law or ordinance that defines the 5 crime but, in any event, it shall not exceed three hundred sixty-four 6 days. 7 § 2. Section 70.15 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdi- 8 vision 1-a to read as follows: 9 1-a. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, whenever the 10 phrase "one year" or "three hundred sixty-five days" or "365 days" or 11 any similar phrase appears in any provision of this chapter or any other 12 law in reference to the definite sentence or maximum definite sentence 13 of imprisonment that is imposed, or has been imposed, or may be imposed 14 after enactment of this subdivision, for a misdemeanor conviction in 15 this state, such phrase shall mean, be interpreted and be applied as 16 three hundred sixty-four days. 17 (b) The amendatory provisions of this subdivision are ameliorative and 18 shall apply to all persons who are sentenced before, on or after the 19 effective date of this subdivision, for a crime committed before, on or 20 after the effective date of this subdivision. 21 (c) Any sentence for a misdemeanor conviction imposed prior to the 22 effective date of this subdivision that is a definite sentence of impri- 23 sonment of one year, or three hundred sixty-five days, shall, by opera- 24 tion of law, be changed to, mean and be interpreted and applied as a 25 sentence of three hundred sixty-four days. In addition to any other 26 right of a person to obtain a record of a proceeding against him or her, 27 a person so sentenced prior to the effective date of this subdivision 28 shall be entitled to obtain, from the criminal court or the clerk there- 29 of, a certificate of conviction, as described in subdivision one of 30 section 60.60 of the criminal procedure law, setting forth such sentence 31 as the sentence specified in this paragraph. 32 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.