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New York Criminal Procedure - Article 1 - § 1.20 Definitions of Terms of General Use in This Chapter

Legal Research Home > New York Laws > Criminal Procedure > New York Criminal Procedure - Article 1 - § 1.20 Definitions of Terms of General Use in This Chapter


Criminal Procedure 
 
  § 1.20 Definitions of terms of general use in this chapter.
    Except  where different meanings are expressly specified in subsequent
  provisions of this chapter, the term definitions  contained  in  section
  10.00 of the penal law are applicable to this chapter, and, in addition,
  the following terms have the following meanings:
    1.  "Accusatory instrument" means an indictment, an indictment ordered
  reduced pursuant to subdivision one-a of section 210.20 of this chapter,
  an information, a simplified information, a prosecutor's information,  a
  superior   court  information,  a  misdemeanor  complaint  or  a  felony
  complaint.  Every  accusatory  instrument,  regardless  of  the   person
  designated  therein  as  accuser, constitutes an accusation on behalf of
  the state as plaintiff and must be entitled "the people of the state  of
  New York" against a designated person, known as the defendant.
    2.  "Local  criminal court accusatory instrument" means any accusatory
  instrument other than an indictment or a superior court information.
    3. "Indictment" means a written accusation by a grand jury, more fully
  defined and described in article two  hundred,  filed  with  a  superior
  court,  which  charges one or more defendants with the commission of one
  or more offenses, at least one of which is a crime, and which serves  as
  a basis for prosecution thereof.
    3-a.  "Superior  court  information"  means  a written accusation by a
  district attorney more fully  defined  and  described  in  articles  one
  hundred  ninety-five  and  two  hundred,  filed  with  a  superior court
  pursuant to article one hundred ninety-five, which charges one  or  more
  defendants  with the commission of one or more offenses, at least one of
  which is a crime, and which serves as a basis for prosecution thereof.
    4. "Information" means a verified written accusation by a person, more
  fully defined and described in article one hundred, filed with  a  local
  criminal court, which charges one or more defendants with the commission
  of  one or more offenses, none of which is a felony, and which may serve
  both to commence a criminal  action  and  as  a  basis  for  prosecution
  thereof.
    * 5. "Simplified traffic information" means a written accusation, more
  fully  defined and described in article one hundred, by a police officer
  or other public servant authorized by law to issue same,  filed  with  a
  local  criminal  court,  which,  being  in  a  brief  or simplified form
  prescribed by the commissioner of motor vehicles, charges a person  with
  one or more traffic infractions or misdemeanors relating to traffic, and
  which  may serve both to commence a criminal action for such offense and
  as a basis for prosecution thereof.
    * NB There are 2 sb 5's -- cannot be put together
    * 5.  (a)  "Simplified  information"  means   a   simplified   traffic
  information,   a   simplified   parks   information,   or  a  simplified
  environmental conservation information.
    (b) "Simplified traffic information" means a written accusation  by  a
  police officer, or other public servant authorized by law to issue same,
  more  fully  defined  and described in article one hundred, filed with a
  local criminal court,  which,  being  in  a  brief  or  simplified  form
  prescribed  by the commissioner of motor vehicles, charges a person with
  one or more traffic infractions or misdemeanors relating to traffic, and
  which may serve both to commence a criminal action for such offense  and
  as a basis for prosecution thereof.
    (c)  "Simplified  parks  information"  means a written accusation by a
  police officer, or other public servant authorized by law to issue same,
  filed with a local criminal court, which, being in a brief or simplified
  form prescribed by the commissioner of parks and recreation,  charges  a
  person  with  one  or  more  offenses,  other than a felony, for which a
  uniform simplified parks information may be issued pursuant to the parks

  and recreation law and the navigation law, and which may serve  both  to
  commence  a  criminal  action  for  such  offense  and  as  a  basis for
  prosecution thereof.
    (d)   "Simplified  environmental  conservation  information"  means  a
  written  accusation  by  a  police  officer,  or  other  public  servant
  authorized  by  law  to  issue  same, filed with a local criminal court,
  which being in a brief or simplified form prescribed by the commissioner
  of environmental  conservation,  charges  a  person  with  one  or  more
  offenses,   other   than  a  felony,  for  which  a  uniform  simplified
  environmental conservation simplified information may be issued pursuant
  to the environmental conservation law,  and  which  may  serve  both  to
  commence  a  criminal  action  for  such  offense  and  as  a  basis for
  prosecution thereof.
    * NB There are 2 sb 5's -- cannot be put together
    6. "Prosecutor's information" means a written accusation by a district
  attorney, more fully defined and described in article one hundred, filed
  with a local criminal court, which charges one or more  defendants  with
  the  commission  of one or more offenses, none of which is a felony, and
  which serves as a basis for prosecution thereof.
    7. "Misdemeanor complaint" means a verified written  accusation  by  a
  person,  more  fully defined and described in article one hundred, filed
  with a local criminal court, which charges one or more  defendants  with
  the  commission  of  one  or  more  offenses, at least one of which is a
  misdemeanor and none of which is a felony, and which serves to  commence
  a  criminal  action  but  which  may  not,  except  upon the defendant's
  consent, serve as a  basis  for  prosecution  of  the  offenses  charged
  therein.
    8. "Felony complaint" means a verified written accusation by a person,
  more  fully  defined  and described in article one hundred, filed with a
  local criminal court, which charges one  or  more  defendants  with  the
  commission  of  one  or  more  felonies  and  which serves to commence a
  criminal action but not as a basis for prosecution thereof.
    9. "Arraignment" means the occasion upon  which  a  defendant  against
  whom an accusatory instrument has been filed appears before the court in
  which  the  criminal  action  is  pending for the purpose of having such
  court acquire and exercise control over his person with respect to  such
  accusatory  instrument  and of setting the course of further proceedings
  in the action.
    10. "Plea," in addition to  its  ordinary  meaning  as  prescribed  in
  sections  220.10 and 340.20, means, where appropriate, the occasion upon
  which a defendant enters such a plea to an accusatory instrument.
    11. "Trial." A jury trial commences with the selection of the jury and
  includes all further proceedings through the rendition of a  verdict.  A
  non-jury  trial  commences  with  the first opening address, if there be
  any, and, if not, when the first witness  is  sworn,  and  includes  all
  further proceedings through the rendition of a verdict.
    12.  "Verdict"  means the announcement by a jury in the case of a jury
  trial, or by the court in the case of a non-jury trial, of its  decision
  upon  the  defendant's guilt or innocence of the charges submitted to or
  considered by it.
    13. "Conviction" means the entry of a plea of guilty to, or a  verdict
  of  guilty upon, an accusatory instrument other than a felony complaint,
  or to one or more counts of such instrument.
    14. "Sentence" means the imposition  and  entry  of  sentence  upon  a
  conviction.
    15.  "Judgment."  A  judgment  is  comprised  of  a conviction and the
  sentence imposed thereon and is completed by imposition and entry of the
  sentence.

    16. "Criminal action." A criminal action (a) commences with the filing
  of an accusatory instrument against a defendant in a criminal court,  as
  specified  in  subdivision  seventeen;  (b)  includes  the filing of all
  further accusatory instruments directly derived from  the  initial  one,
  and  all proceedings, orders and motions conducted or made by a criminal
  court in the course of disposing of any such accusatory  instrument,  or
  which,  regardless  of  the  court  in which they occurred or were made,
  could properly be considered as a part of the record of the case  by  an
  appellate  court  upon  an appeal from a judgment of conviction; and (c)
  terminates  with  the  imposition  of  sentence  or  some  other   final
  disposition  in a criminal court of the last accusatory instrument filed
  in the case.
    17. "Commencement of criminal action." A criminal action is  commenced
  by  the  filing  of  an  accusatory  instrument against a defendant in a
  criminal court, and, if more than one accusatory instrument is filed  in
  the  course  of  the  action,  it  commences  when  the  first  of  such
  instruments is filed.
    18. "Criminal proceeding" means any proceeding which (a) constitutes a
  part of a criminal action or (b) occurs  in  a  criminal  court  and  is
  related  to  a prospective, pending or completed criminal action, either
  of this state or of any  other  jurisdiction,  or  involves  a  criminal
  investigation.
    19. "Criminal court" means any court defined as such by section 10.10.
    20.  "Superior  court"  means any court defined as such by subdivision
  two of section 10.10.
    21. "Local  criminal  court"  means  any  court  defined  as  such  by
  subdivision three of section 10.10.
    22.   "Intermediate   appellate  court"  means  any  court  possessing
  appellate jurisdiction, other than the court of appeals.
    23. "Judge"  means  any  judicial  officer  who  is  a  member  of  or
  constitutes  a court, whether referred to in another provision of law as
  a justice or by any other title.
    24. "Trial jurisdiction." A criminal court has "trial jurisdiction" of
  an offense when an indictment or an information  charging  such  offense
  may properly be filed with such court, and when such court has authority
  to accept a plea to, try or otherwise finally dispose of such accusatory
  instrument.
    25.  "Preliminary  jurisdiction."  A  criminal  court has "preliminary
  jurisdiction" of an offense when, regardless of  whether  it  has  trial
  jurisdiction  thereof,  a  criminal  action  for  such  offense  may  be
  commenced therein, and when such  court  may  conduct  proceedings  with
  respect  thereto  which  lead  or  may  lead  to  prosecution  and final
  disposition of the action in a court having trial jurisdiction thereof.
    26. "Appearance ticket" means a written  notice  issued  by  a  public
  servant,  more  fully  defined  in section 150.10, requiring a person to
  appear before a local criminal court in connection  with  an  accusatory
  instrument to be filed against him therein.
    27.  "Summons"  means  a process of a local criminal court or superior
  court, more fully defined in section 130.10, requiring  a  defendant  to
  appear  before  such  court  for  the  purpose  of  arraignment  upon an
  accusatory instrument filed therewith by which a criminal action against
  him has been commenced.
    28. "Warrant of arrest" means a process of  a  local  criminal  court,
  more  fully  defined  in  section  120.10, directing a police officer to
  arrest a defendant and to bring him before such court for the purpose of
  arraignment upon an accusatory instrument filed  therewith  by  which  a
  criminal action against him has been commenced.

    29.  "Superior  court warrant of arrest" means a process of a superior
  court directing a police officer to arrest a defendant and to bring  him
  before  such  court  for  the  purpose of arraignment upon an indictment
  filed therewith  by  which  a  criminal  action  against  him  has  been
  commenced.
    30.  "Bench  warrant"  means  a process of a criminal court in which a
  criminal action is pending, directing a police officer, or  a  uniformed
  court  officer,  pursuant  to  paragraph b of subdivision two of section
  530.70 of this chapter, to take into custody a defendant in such  action
  who  has  previously  been  arraigned  upon the accusatory instrument by
  which the action was commenced, and to bring him before such court.  The
  function  of  a  bench  warrant  is to achieve the court appearance of a
  defendant in a pending criminal action for some purpose other  than  his
  initial arraignment in the action.
    31. "Prosecutor" means a district attorney or any other public servant
  who represents the people in a criminal action.
    32.  "District  attorney"  means  a  district  attorney,  an assistant
  district  attorney  or  a  special   district   attorney,   and,   where
  appropriate,  the  attorney  general,  an  assistant attorney general, a
  deputy attorney general, a  special  deputy  attorney  general,  or  the
  special  prosecutor  and  inspector general for the protection of people
  with special needs or his or her  assistants  when  acting  pursuant  to
  their  duties  in  matters arising under article twenty of the executive
  law.
    33. "Peace officer" means a person listed  in  section  2.10  of  this
  chapter.
    34. "Police officer." The following persons are police officers:
    (a) A sworn member of the division of state police;
    (b)  Sheriffs,  under-sheriffs and deputy sheriffs of counties outside
  of New York City;
    (c) A sworn officer of an authorized county or county  parkway  police
  department;
    (d)  A  sworn officer of an authorized police department or force of a
  city, town, village or police district;
    (e) A sworn officer of an authorized police department of an authority
  or a sworn officer of the state regional park police in  the  office  of
  parks and recreation;
    (f)  A  sworn  officer  of  the  capital police force of the office of
  general services;
    (g) An investigator employed in the office of a district attorney;
    (h) An investigator employed by a commission created by an  interstate
  compact  who  is, to a substantial extent, engaged in the enforcement of
  the criminal laws of this state;
    (i) The chief and deputy fire marshals, the supervising fire  marshals
  and  the  fire  marshals  of the bureau of fire investigation of the New
  York City fire department;
    (j) A sworn  officer  of  the  division  of  law  enforcement  in  the
  department of environmental conservation;
    (k) A sworn officer of a police force of a public authority created by
  an interstate compact;
    (l) Long Island railroad police.
    (m)  A  special investigator employed in the statewide organized crime
  task force, while performing his assigned  duties  pursuant  to  section
  seventy-a of the executive law.
    (n)  A  sworn  officer  of the Westchester county department of public
  safety services who, on or prior to  June  thirtieth,  nineteen  hundred
  seventy-nine  was  appointed  as  a  sworn  officer  of  the division of
  Westchester county parkway police or who was appointed on or after  July

  first,  nineteen  hundred  seventy-nine  to the title of police officer,
  sergeant, lieutenant, captain or  inspector  or  who,  on  or  prior  to
  January  thirty-first, nineteen hundred eighty-three, was appointed as a
  Westchester county deputy sheriff.
    (o) A sworn officer of the water-supply police employed by the city of
  New  York,  appointed to protect the sources, works, and transmission of
  water supplied to the city of New York, and to protect persons on or  in
  the vicinity of such water sources, works, and transmission.
    (p)  Persons  appointed  as  railroad  policemen  pursuant  to section
  eighty-eight of the railroad law.
    (q) An employee of the department of taxation and finance (i) assigned
  to enforcement of the taxes imposed under or pursuant to  the  authority
  of  article twelve-A of the tax law and administered by the commissioner
  of taxation  and  finance,  taxes  imposed  under  or  pursuant  to  the
  authority  of  article  eighteen  of the tax law and administered by the
  commissioner, taxes imposed under article twenty  of  the  tax  law,  or
  sales  or  compensating  use  taxes  relating  to  petroleum products or
  cigarettes  imposed  under  article  twenty-eight  or  pursuant  to  the
  authority  of article twenty-nine of the tax law and administered by the
  commissioner or (ii) designated  as  a  revenue  crimes  specialist  and
  assigned  to  the enforcement of the taxes described in paragraph (c) of
  subdivision four of section 2.10 of  this  title,  for  the  purpose  of
  applying  for  and  executing  search warrants under article six hundred
  ninety of this chapter, for the purpose of acting as  a  claiming  agent
  under  article  thirteen-A  of  the  civil  practice  law  and  rules in
  connection with the enforcement of the taxes referred to above  and  for
  the  purpose  of executing warrants of arrest relating to the respective
  crimes specified in subdivision four of section 2.10 of this title.
    (r) Any employee of the Suffolk county  department  of  parks  who  is
  appointed as a Suffolk county park police officer.
    (s)  A  university  police  officer  appointed by the state university
  pursuant to paragraph 1 of subdivision  two  of  section  three  hundred
  fifty-five of the education law.
    (t)  A sworn officer of the department of public safety of the Buffalo
  municipal housing authority who has achieved or been granted the  status
  of  sworn  police  officer  and  has  been  certified by the division of
  criminal justice services as successfully completing an  approved  basic
  course for police officers.
    (u)  Persons  appointed  as Indian police officers pursuant to section
  one hundred fourteen of the Indian law.
    (v) Supervisor of forest  ranger  services;  assistant  supervisor  of
  forest  ranger services; forest ranger 3; forest ranger 2; forest ranger
  1 employed by the state  department  of  environmental  conservation  or
  sworn  officer  of the division of forest protection and fire management
  in the department of environmental  conservation  responsible  for  wild
  land  search  and  rescue,  wild  land  fire  management in the state as
  prescribed in subdivision eighteen of section 9-0105 and title eleven of
  article nine of the environmental  conservation  law,  exercising  care,
  custody  and  control  of  state lands administered by the department of
  environmental conservation.
    34-a. "Geographical area of employment."  The  "geographical  area  of
  employment" of certain police officers is as follows:
    * (a)  Except  as  provided  in paragraph (d) of this subdivision, New
  York state constitutes the "geographical  area  of  employment"  of  any
  police  officer  employed  as  such  by  an agency of the state or by an
  authority which functions throughout the  state,  or  a  police  officer
  designated by the superintendent of state police pursuant to section two
  hundred twenty-three of the executive law;

    * NB Effective until September 1, 2015
    * (a)  Except as provided in paragraph (d), New York state constitutes
  the "geographical area of employment" of any police officer employed  as
  such  by  an  agency  of  the  state  or by an authority which functions
  throughout the state;
    * NB Effective September 1, 2015
    (b) A county, city, town or village, as the case may  be,  constitutes
  the  "geographical area of employment" of any police officer employed as
  such by an agency of such political subdivision or by an authority which
  functions only in such political subdivision; and
    (c) Where  an  authority  functions  in  more  than  one  county,  the
  "geographical  area  of employment" of a police officer employed thereby
  extends through all of such counties.
    (d) The geographical area of employment of a police officer  appointed
  by  the state university is the campuses and other property of the state
  university, including any portion of a public highway which  crosses  or
  abuts such property.
    35.  "Commitment  to the custody of the sheriff," when referring to an
  order of a court located in a county or city  which  has  established  a
  department  of  correction,  means  commitment  to  the  commissioner of
  correction of such county or city.
    36. "County" ordinarily means (a) any county outside of New York  City
  or  (b)  New  York  City  in its entirety. Unless the context requires a
  different construction, New York City, despite  its  five  counties,  is
  deemed  a  single  county  within  the meaning of the provisions of this
  chapter in which that term appears.
    37. "Lesser included offense." When  it  is  impossible  to  commit  a
  particular  crime without concomitantly committing, by the same conduct,
  another offense of lesser grade or degree, the latter is,  with  respect
  to  the  former, a "lesser included offense." In any case in which it is
  legally possible to attempt to commit a crime, an attempt to commit such
  crime constitutes a lesser included offense with respect thereto.
    38. "Oath" includes an affirmation and every other mode authorized  by
  law of attesting to the truth of that which is stated.
    39. "Petty offense" means a violation or a traffic infraction.
    40.  "Evidence  in chief" means evidence, received at a trial or other
  criminal proceeding in which a defendant's  guilt  or  innocence  of  an
  offense is in issue, which may be considered as a part of the quantum of
  substantive proof establishing or tending to establish the commission of
  such  offense  or  an  element  thereof  or  the  defendant's connection
  therewith.
    41. "Armed felony" means any violent felony offense defined in section
  70.02 of the penal law that includes as an element either:
    (a) possession, being armed with or causing serious physical injury by
  means of a deadly weapon, if the weapon is a loaded weapon from which  a
  shot,  readily  capable  of  producing  death  or other serious physical
  injury may be discharged; or
    (b) display of what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle,  shotgun,
  machine gun or other firearm.
    42.  "Juvenile offender" means (1) a person, thirteen years old who is
  criminally responsible for acts constituting murder in the second degree
  as defined in subdivisions one and two of section 125.25  of  the  penal
  law,  or  such  conduct as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized
  pursuant to section 130.91 of the penal law; and (2) a  person  fourteen
  or fifteen years old who is criminally responsible for acts constituting
  the crimes defined in subdivisions one and two of section 125.25 (murder
  in  the second degree) and in subdivision three of such section provided
  that the underlying crime for the murder charge is one  for  which  such

  person  is  criminally  responsible;  section  135.25 (kidnapping in the
  first degree); 150.20 (arson in the first degree); subdivisions one  and
  two   of   section   120.10   (assault  in  the  first  degree);  125.20
  (manslaughter  in the first degree); subdivisions one and two of section
  130.35 (rape in the first degree); subdivisions one and two  of  section
  130.50  (criminal  sexual  act  in the first degree); 130.70 (aggravated
  sexual abuse in  the  first  degree);  140.30  (burglary  in  the  first
  degree);  subdivision  one  of  section  140.25  (burglary in the second
  degree); 150.15 (arson in the second degree);  160.15  (robbery  in  the
  first  degree); subdivision two of section 160.10 (robbery in the second
  degree) of the penal law; or section 265.03 of the penal law, where such
  machine gun or such firearm is possessed  on  school  grounds,  as  that
  phrase is defined in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of the penal
  law;  or  defined in the penal law as an attempt to commit murder in the
  second degree or kidnapping in the first degree, or such  conduct  as  a
  sexually  motivated  felony, where authorized pursuant to section 130.91
  of the penal law.
    43. "Judicial hearing officer" means a person so  designated  pursuant
  to provisions of article twenty-two of the judiciary law.
Section:  Previous  Article 1  1.00  1.10  1.20

Last modified: February 15, 2014