With Courts slowly reopening operations, the biggest question on the minds of clients and criminal defense attorneys is what does the 6 month lull in Court operations mean for my case? More specifically, what does a 30.30 suspension due to Covid-19 mean for me? New York’s Speedy Trial provision is codified in Section 30.30 of New York Criminal Procedure Law. Thus, New York’s speedy trial time is commonly called “30.30 time” or simply “30.30.”
On October 4, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order Number 202.67, which addresses suspension of 30.30 during COVID-19, and ultimately its reinstatement. The executive order is discussed below to answer some frequently asked questions regarding New York speedy trial time and what that means for your case.
What is New York CPL 30.30 Time?
New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 30.30, contains the time limits the prosecutor must abide by to bring someone to trial after their arrest. The length of time depends on the severity of the crime charged. Most serious crimes have the longest speedy trial time, while the least serious crimes have the shortest speedy trial time. Specifically, these are speedy trial times associated with New York criminal charges:
- Felonies – 180 days from Arraignment on the Criminal Court Complaint;
- Class “A” Misdemeanors – 90 days from Arraignment on the Criminal Court Complaint;
- Class “B” Misdemeanors – 60 days from Arraignment on the Criminal Court Complaint;
- Violations – 30 days from Arraignment on the Criminal Court Complaint.
30.30 Time on Different Charges
If there are charges of different severity, the 30.30 speedy trial time from the most serious charge applies to all other charges. Let’s say you’re charged with a felony, one class “A” misdemeanor and two class “B” misdemeanors on the same case. All charges would have 180 days of 30.30 time because that is the length of speedy trial time on the most serious charge.
What Happens If The Prosecutor Isn’t Ready For Trial On My Case Within the Required 30.30 Time Period?
If the prosecutor is not ready for trial on your case within the allotted 30.30 time period, your case will be dismissed. If there is a disagreement about whether your case is out of speedy trial time, your attorney may need to file a motion. It is important to note that 30.30 time is not always continuously running from your arraignment. There are events that make 30.30 time stop. There are also events that make 30.30 time restart. You should consult an experienced New York criminal defense counsel regarding 30.30 calculations on your case.
How Much 30.30 During COVID-19 is Excluded?
Under Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, much of time under CPL 30.30 during COVID-19 is excluded from speedy trial calculations. The relevant Executive Order text provides:
The suspension and modification of Section 30.30 of the criminal procedure law, as continued and modified in EO 202.60, is hereby no longer in effect, except for felony charges entered in the counties of New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and Richmond, where such suspension and modification continues to be effective through October 19, 2020; thereafter for these named counties the suspension is no longer effective on such date or upon the defendant’s arraignment on an indictment, whichever is later, for indicted felony matters, otherwise for these named counties the suspension and modification of Section 30.30 of the criminal procedure law for all criminal actions proceeding on the basis of a felony complaint shall no longer be effective, irrespective, 90 days from the signing of this Executive order on January 2, 2021.
Therefore, the following time periods are excluded from New York Speedy Trial calculations under CPL 30.30:
30.30 On Felony Charges Outside New York City
30.30 time on felonies pending in New York Courts outside the five New York City Counties has been suspended from March 20, 2020 to October 4, 2020. Since October 4, 2020, 30.30 has resumed on these felony matters. That is largely because the Grand Juries upstate have been open and hearing cases for the past few weeks now.
30.30 on Felony Charges in New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx and Richmond Counties
30.30 time on indicted felonies pending within New York City – in New York, Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Bronx and Richmond (Staten Island) Counties – has been suspended from March 20, 2020 to October 19, 2020. 30.30 on felony matters pending within New York City will resume on either (1) October 19, 2020 or (2) the arraignment on the felony indictment, whichever is later. As of January 2021, 30.30 time on indicted felonies in New York City is running.
30.30 time on un-indicted felonies (matters not presented to a Grand Jury) remains suspended for another 90 days after the enactment of Executive Order 202.67. It will expire on January 2, 2021. That is, unless it will be extended again. As of January 2021, 30.30 time on un-indicted felonies in New York City is tolled or not running.
30.30 on Misdemeanor Charges
New York Speedy Trial Time under CPL 30.30 was also suspended on March 20, 2020. It resumes for each county once it is able to impanel a trial jury panel. Currently, 30.30 time on misdemeanors is running.
What Does a 30.30 Suspension Due To COVID-19 Mean For My Case?
A speedy trial suspension due to COVID-19 can have positive, as well as negative implications. To start with the negatives, you probably haven’t gone to Court in several months. It is also possible that you have not heard from your attorney during this time period. Therefore, you do not know for certain if any work has been getting done on your case. Additionally, your case has been hanging over your head, without anything you can do to move it along. While criminal cases take a long time to get resolved, they’re taking an extra long time with COVID-19. Unfortunately, none of the time for the past 6 months is counting against the speedy trial time on your case.
Now the good news. If you are charged with a case on which there is a victim (rather than a police officer case), these past few months may have changed the victim’s level of cooperation. Frequently, the longer the case goes, the less interested the complainant becomes in what happens to the case. Especially, if the District Attorney hasn’t been calling or following up regarding the case. Additionally, with the backlog of cases and the limited availability of Grand Juries, the prosecutors may be inclined to offer better plea offers. That is because they are interested in closing out cases (even if that involves offering incredible plea deals).
Will the Executive Order Extend 30.30 Time Again?
It is unclear whether the Governor will extend the suspension of CPL 30.30 speedy trial time. A lot seems to depend on whether the Courts and Grand Juries continue to expand their operations. Or if there will be an increase in COVID-19 infections, which results in Courts and Grand Juries once again limiting or suspending their in-person operations.
Contact Top Rated New York Criminal Defense Attorneys Regarding 30.30 on Your Case
CPL 30.30 suspension due to COVID-19 has resulted in a large backlog of cases. This backlog may ultimately result in a more favorable plea deal in your case. However, your case may take longer to resolve due to the limited capacity of courts and Grand Juries. If you have questions regarding 30.30 calculations for your case, please contact us to schedule your consultation or send us a message through the chat.