Skip navigation


92 N.Y.2d 960, 705 N.E.2d 1201, 683 N.Y.S.2d 160 (1998).
November 18, 1998

AppT No. 147

[98 NY Int. 0137]
Decided November 18, 1998

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the New York Reports.

Ellen O'Hara Woods, for appellant.
John S. Edwards, for respondent.


The order of the Appellate Term should be affirmed.

Section 180.50 of the Criminal Procedure Law provides a mechanism for reducing charges in a felony complaint to offenses other than felonies. If the prosecutor consents, the localcriminal court must first inquire into whether the facts and evidence provide a basis for charging a non felony offense (CPL 180.50[1]). Only if the court is satisfied, after such an inquiry, that there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant committed a non felony offense may the court order the indicated reduction.

As the Village Court acknowledged here, it undertook no inquiry to determine whether the facts surrounding the defendant's conduct warranted reduction of the second degree assault (Penal Law § 120.05) charge to third degree assault (Penal Law § 120.00). With no judicial inquiry prior to the prosecution's filing of the misdemeanor information or before the felony complaint was marked to reflect the reduction in charge, there was no conversion to the misdemeanor charge. The third degree assault charge was therefore properly dismissed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Order affirmed, in a memorandum. Chief Judge Kaye and Judges Bellacosa, Smith, Levine, Ciparick and Wesley concur.

Decided November 18, 1998