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People v. Castellini

APPELLATE TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT, FIRST DEPARTMENT


July 13, 2009

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
DANIELLE CASTELLINI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Defendant appeals from 1) a judgment of the Criminal Court of the City of New York, New York County (Gerald Harris, J.), rendered September 27, 2006, convicting him, upon his plea of guilty, of driving while impaired, and imposing sentence, and 2) an order of the same court (Ellen M. Coin, J.), entered on or about March 1, 2007, which denied defendant's CPL 440.10 motion to vacate his conviction and set aside his sentence.

Per curiam.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the printed Miscellaneous Reports.

PRESENT: McKeon, P.J., Schoenfeld, J.

Judgment (Gerald Harris, J.), rendered September 27, 2006, reversed, on the law, the plea vacated, the information reinstated, and the matter remanded to Criminal Court for further proceedings. Appeal from order (Ellen M. Coin, J.), entered on or about March 1, 2007, denying defendant's CPL 440.10 motion, dismissed as academic.

In order for a guilty plea to be entered knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily, a defendant must be advised of the direct consequences of the plea (see People v Ford, 86 NY2d 397, 403 [1995]). Although there is no mandatory catechism, a minimum requirement for a valid plea is that the defendant understands the direct penal consequences (see People v Catu, 4 NY3d 242 [2005]). Here, the plea minutes show that the court misinformed defendant of the nature and duration of the requisite driver's license sanction, erroneously stating that the sentence would include a 90-day license suspension, when in fact the mandatory sanction was a one-year license revocation. While in some jurisdictions the loss of a driver's license "result[s] from the actions taken by agencies the court does not control," and thus is considered a collateral consequence (People v Ford, 86 NY2d at 403, citing Moore v Hinton, 513 F2d 781 [5th Cir 1975]), the license sanction here involved constituted punishment directly imposed by the court as a result of defendant's guilty plea (see Penal Law § 1193[2][a], [b]), and was thus a direct consequence of the plea. The court's error is not subject to harmless error analysis (see People v Hill, 9 NY3d 189, 192 [2007], cert denied __ US __ 128 S Ct 2430 [2008]), and renders the plea invalid.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COURT.

I concur.

20090713

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