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LOCAL CRIMINAL COURT CAN DISMISS AN APPEARANCE TICKET IF THE POLICE OFFICER FAILS TO SUBSEQUENTLY FILE THE REQUIRED ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT BY THE RETURN DATE [Snead v. Aegis Secur., Inc., 105 A.D.2d 1059]

In New York, where a police officer issues a defendant an appearance ticket for a crime such as Reckless Driving or Possession of Marihuana directing that defendant is to appear in a local criminal court on a future date, the police officer is supposed to file, or cause to be filed a sufficient accusatory instrument (the “paperwork”) with that local criminal court before the defendant’s appearance. [See CPL Art. 150].
In some cases, the police officer fails to file the required sufficient accusatory instrument in a timely manner. In many small city, village or town courts a defendant might wait all day (or night) for his “paperwork.” In some bigger jurisdictions such as New York City, the court will give the defendant a notice acknowledging his appearance in court and informing him of a new date or that the court will send him a new date.
However, the local criminal court can dismiss the appearance ticket where a defendant appears in court as directed in an appearance ticket but no accusatory instrument has been filed by the officer as required by CPL 150.50(1). In Snead v. Aegis Secur., Inc., 105 A.D.2d 1059 (4th Dept. 1984), the Rochester City Court had dismissed an appearance ticket in an underlying, related criminal action against Robert Snead because an accusatory instrument had not yet been filed before Snead appeared in that court as directed in the appearance ticket. In Snead, the city court dismissed the very day the defendant appeared as instructed. The city court didn’t make him wait for hours or give him a new date. The city court did what all courts should be doing; it held the police accountable to the law.
For more information about this and other New York Criminal law issues, please contact Tilem & Campbell toll free 1-877-377-8666 or visit us at www.tilemandcampbell.com.