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September 22, 2009

Defendant’s Right to Release On A Felony- New York Criminal Procedure Law 180.80

By Michael H. Joseph

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New York criminal defense lawyers who handle felonies need to be familiar with NY criminal procedural law 180.80. Where a defendant is charged with a felony and they are incarcerated because they cannot make bail for more than one hundred twenty hours or one hundred forty-four hours if there is an intervening Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, must be released if they have not been indicted or had a felony hearing, which is also known as a felony exam. This provision is a powerful tool for New York criminal defense attorneys.

The only exceptions to this rule are where there was a delay due to the defendant’s request, action or condition, or if the delay occurred with his consent. Aside from consent or action by the defendant which prevented the indictment or felony examination, the District Attorney must show good cause why the defendant should not be released. This good cause must be a compelling reason that prevented the indictment or that the release would not be in the interest of justice.

At a felony examination or felony hearing, the district attorney must prove reasonable cause to believe the defendant committed a felony. If they meet this burden, the Court can keep the defendant in jail and hold him for grand jury action.

If there has been no grand jury action and the defendant has been held in custody for more than 45 days, the defendant has a right to be released unless the defendant consented to the delay.

Michael Joseph is a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer, who defends felony cases in New York City and Westchester.

 
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