The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Rivera, determined the amendment to the speedy trial statute (CPL 30.30 (1) (e)) which made the statutory time-limits applicable to traffic infractions jointly charged with crimes or violations should not be applied retroactively. The amendment went into effect while defendant’s appeal to the Appellate Term was pending. The Court of Appeals held that the defendant’s motion to dismiss the accusatory instrument (which jointly charged misdemeanors and traffic infractions) on speedy-trial grounds should not have been granted by the Appellate Term:
Defendant was charged in 2014 in a single accusatory instrument with three misdemeanor counts and three traffic infractions under various sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Approximately 17 months later, defendant moved to dismiss the accusatory instrument on speedy trial grounds pursuant to CPL 30.30. The court denied the motion, concluding that the statute did not apply to jointly charged traffic infractions and that the People did not exceed the 90-day statutory time limit applicable to the misdemeanor counts. Thereafter, a jury convicted defendant of two misdemeanors and two infractions and acquitted him of the remaining counts. …
The Appellate Term granted defendant’s motion to dismiss the accusatory instrument, including the traffic infractions, concluding that the People exceeded the statutory time limit to state their readiness for trial on the misdemeanor counts and that the amendment applied retroactively … . * * *
… [B]ecause the amended statute was not in effect when the criminal action against defendant was commenced, CPL 30.30 (1) (e) has no application to defendant’s direct appeal from that judgment of conviction. People v Galindo, 2022 NY Slip Op 03928, Ct App 6-16-22
Practice Point: The amendment to the speedy trial statute which extended the statute’s coverage to include traffic infractions jointly charged with crimes or violations is not to be applied retroactively. Here the amendment became effective while defendant’s appeal to the Appellate Term was pending. The Appellate Term should not have ruled the amendment applied to the defendant’s accusatory instrument, which jointly charged misdemeanors and traffic infractions.