The New York State Senate today passed a bill to stop perpetual repeat offenders who continue to commit misdemeanor crimes. The bill (S1521), sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), establishes a new felony-level crime of aggravated criminal conduct to bring stronger penalties against those who commit a misdemeanor after having been already convicted for multiple misdemeanors within the past five years.
“Until tougher laws are in place for criminals who are convicted of repeat misdemeanors, there is no deterrent, they just become experts at gaming the system,” said Senator Marcellino. “These criminals may not make the news, but they adversely affect the quality of life for law-abiding citizens. It is time to do something to get them off the streets of New York State and behind bars.”
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services reports that 8,824 individuals had been convicted of five or more misdemeanors within the three years that ended Dec. 31, 2010. Of those criminals, 1,600 of them had 10 or more convictions in the same time frame, and a staggering 169 criminals had 20 or more convictions.
This legislation would create the crime of aggravated criminal conduct where an individual commits a misdemeanor and has been previously subjected to four or more qualifying misdemeanor convictions within the preceding five years. Each conviction must have been a crime in New York State and be a class A misdemeanor. In calculating the five-year period, any period of time during which the criminal was incarcerated for any reason between the time of commission of any of the previous convictions and the time of the present misdemeanor will be excluded for the five year period time frame. The crime would be a class E felony, punishable up to 4 years in prison.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.