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June 23, 2010

The Felony Hearing In New York Sex Crime Cases

By Michael H. Joseph

As a New York criminal defense lawyer, I have successfully defended numerous criminal cases involving allegations of sex crimes. The New York Criminal Procedure Law gives any person charged with a felony the right to a felony hearing. At a New York felony hearing, also called a felony examination, the State of New York must prove that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a felony has occurred.

Demanding the felony hearing is an important method to test the case against a New York sex crimes lawyer’s client and to cross examine the witnesses at an early stage. Normally in felony practice the New York criminal defense lawyer does not have the ability to question witnesses against the defendant until trial. The felony hearing allows the New York criminal defense lawyer handling a rape chare or other sex crime to gain valuable insight into the case at an early stage and better prepare for trial. Also the witnesses at this stage have not been prepared by the prosecutor, so the experienced criminal defense lawyer can pin down the witness’ story before it has been coaxed by a prosecutor.

Also, the New York felony hearing forces the prosecutor into a contested hearing and often exposes weakness in the case early on. In a recent major felony sex crime case in Westchester, our New York sex crime lawyers successfully challenged the case at a felony hearing so successfully that the sex crime charges were voluntarily withdrawn by the prosecutor.

In a felony sex crime case in New York, which is headed for trial, the felony hearing is an important tool that every New York criminal defense attorney should utilize.

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