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The People of the State of New York, Respondent v. Crystal Sabino

New York SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


March 15, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT, --
v.
CRYSTAL SABINO, APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the Justice Court of the Village of Washingtonville, Orange County (Stephen J. Smith, J.), rendered May 18, 2011.

People v Sabino (Crystal)

Appellate Term, Second Department

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

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on March 15, 2013

PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., and IANNACCI, J.

The judgment convicted defendant, after a non-jury trial, of driving while intoxicated per se.

ORDERED that the judgment of conviction is reversed, on the law, the accusatory instrument is dismissed, and the fine, if paid, is remitted.

Following a one-day non-jury trial that concluded on January 19, 2010, of charges of driving while intoxicated (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 [3]) and driving while intoxicated per se (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 [2]), the Justice Court reserved its decision, stating that "I will get this out as soon as I can." Thereafter, the court issued a written decision and order dated April 8, 2010, which was mailed to defense counsel, in which it stated that defendant was convicted of driving while intoxicated per se and was acquitted of driving while intoxicated. Prior to defendant's sentencing on May 18, 2011, the same verdict was rendered in court. On appeal, defendant contends, among other things, that her conviction should be reversed because there was an unreasonable delay in the court's rendering of the verdict. We agree and reverse the judgment of conviction and dismiss the accusatory instrument.

The record establishes that there was a 79-day delay from January 19, 2010, when the trial concluded, to April 8, 2010, when the Justice Court mailed its written decision, and there was a total of a 119-day delay from January 19, 2010 to May 18, 2010, when the trial judge again rendered his verdict in court. CPL 350.10 (3) (d) provides that, in a single-judge trial of an information or a simplified information, after the introduction of evidence and the summations, if any, the court must then consider the case and render a verdict. It has been held that the court in a non-jury case must render its verdict within a reasonable period of time, and "[w]hat will be reasonable' must, of course, turn largely on the circumstances of the individual case" (People v South, 41 NY2d 451, 454 [1977]). Herein, there were no complicated issues of fact, no evidentiary questions remained to be resolved, there were no contested propositions of law, and no posttrial submissions were sought or offered (see id.). Consequently, as a matter of law, the delay in this case was unreasonable (see People v South, 41 NY2d at 455; People v Morgan, 30 Misc 3d 52 [App Term, 9th and 10th Jud Dists 2010]; People v Roberti, 27 Misc 3d 77 [App Term, 9th and 10th Jud Dists 2010]; People v Malone, 22 Misc 3d 65 [App Term, 9th and 10th Jud Dists 2009]). While defendant did not object when the trial judge informed her that he would reserve decision and mail it to her, her silence cannot be construed as her consent to the rendering of a verdict beyond a reasonable period of time (People v Chapman, 177 Misc 2d 551, 552 [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 1998]; see also People v Hryn, 144 AD2d 961 [1988]).

Accordingly, the judgment of conviction is reversed and the accusatory instrument is dismissed.

Nicolai, P.J., and Iannacci, J., concur. Decision Date: March 15, 2013

20130315

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