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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 180.50
Proceedings upon felony complaint; reduction of charge
Criminal Procedure (CPL) CHAPTER 11-A, PART 2, TITLE H, ARTICLE 180
§ 180.50 Proceedings upon felony complaint; reduction of charge.

1. Whether or not the defendant waives a hearing upon the felony
complaint, the local criminal court may, upon consent of the district
attorney, make inquiry for the purpose of determining whether (a) the
available facts and evidence relating to the conduct underlying the
felony complaint provide a basis for charging the defendant with an
offense other than a felony, and (b) if so, whether the charge should,
in the manner prescribed in subdivision three, be reduced from one for a
felony to one for a non-felony offense. Upon such inquiry, the court
may question any person who it believes may possess information relevant
to the matter, including the defendant if he wishes to be questioned.

2. If after such inquiry the court is satisfied that there is
reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed an offense
other than a felony, it may order the indicated reduction as follows:

(a) If there is not reasonable cause to believe that the defendant
committed a felony in addition to the non-felony offense in question,
the court may as a matter of right order a reduction of the charge to
one for the non-felony offense;

(b) If there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant
committed a felony in addition to the non-felony offense, the court may
order a reduction of the charge to one for the non-felony offense only
if (i) it is satisfied that such reduction is in the interest of
justice, and (ii) the district attorney consents thereto; provided,
however, that the court may not order such reduction where there is
reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed a class A
felony, other than those defined in article two hundred twenty of the
penal law, or any armed felony as defined in subdivision forty-one of
section 1.20.

3. A charge is "reduced" from a felony to a non-felony offense,
within the meaning of this section, by replacing the felony complaint
with, or converting it to, another local criminal court accusatory
instrument, as follows:

(a) If the factual allegations of the felony complaint and/or any
supporting depositions are legally sufficient to support the charge that
the defendant committed the non-felony offense in question, the court
may:

(i) Direct the district attorney to file with the court a
prosecutor's information charging the defendant with such non-felony
offense; or

(ii) Request the complainant of the felony complaint to file with the
court an information charging the defendant with such non-felony
offense. If such an information is filed, any supporting deposition
supporting or accompanying the felony complaint is deemed also to
support or accompanying the replacing information; or

(iii) Convert the felony complaint, or a copy thereof, into an
information by notations upon or attached thereto which make the
necessary and appropriate changes in the title of the instrument and in
the names of the offense or offenses charged. In case of such
conversion, any supporting deposition supporting or accompanying the
felony complaint is deemed also to support or accompany the information
to which it has been converted;

(b) If the non-felony offense in question is a misdemeanor, and if
the factual allegations of the felony complaint together with those of
any supporting depositions, though providing reasonable cause to believe
that the defendant committed such misdemeanor are not legally sufficient
to support such misdemeanor charge, the court may cause such felony
complaint to be replaced by or converted to a misdemeanor complaint
charging the misdemeanor in question, in the manner prescribed in
subparagraphs two and three of paragraph (a) of this subdivision.

(c) An information, a prosecutor's information or a misdemeanor
complaint filed pursuant to this section may, pursuant to the ordinary
rules of joinder, charge two or more offenses, and it may jointly charge
with each offense any two or more defendants originally so charged in
the felony complaint;

(d) Upon the filing of an information, a prosecutor's information or
a misdemeanor complaint pursuant to this section, the court must dismiss
the felony complaint from which such accusatory instrument is derived.
It must then arraign the defendant upon the new accusatory instrument
and inform him of his rights in connection therewith in the manner
provided in section 170.10.

4. Upon making any finding other than that specified in subdivision
two, the court must conduct a hearing upon the felony complaint, unless
the defendant has waived the same. In the case of such waiver the court
must order that the defendant be held for the action of a grand jury.