Home > Insights > Criminal Defense > Understanding How 30.30 Motions Can Impact Your Criminal Defense

Understanding How 30.30 Motions Can Impact Your Criminal Defense

by | Jan 21, 2021

The NYC Criminal Defense lawyers of D’Emilia Law saw firsthand how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted New York’s legal and judicial system. Its impact on the ability to conduct a speedy trial is one of D’Emilia Law’s top concerns, as many clients’ cases were affected.

If you were (or are) criminally charged and COVID interrupts your case, there is critical information you and your NYC criminal defense lawyer should know. It revolves around New York’s Speedy Trial provision, Section 30.30 of New York Criminal Procedure Law. 

Understanding Speedy Trials and Their Time Frames

Section 30.30 of New York Criminal Procedure Law entitles defendants charged with a felony or misdemeanor to a speedy trial. 

When it comes to criminal charges, a defendant cannot be arrested by the state and held indefinitely – “the clock starts ticking” and the burden is on the state (or prosecution) to present its case by a specific time. And if they cannot present by that time, a defense lawyer can file a “30.30 motion to dismiss.” The time frame is explained by the New York State Senate’s page. The more severe the crime, the longer the state has to present the case, since there will presumably be more evidence, witnesses and complexities: 

  • Violations – 30 days from arraignment on the Criminal Court Complaint;
  • Class B Misdemeanors – 60 days from arraignment;
  • Class A Misdemeanors – 90 days from arraignment;
  • Felonies – 180 days from arraignment;

What does this mean for your case? It means that if you are charged with different or related crimes in the same case, the most severe type dictates how much time is allowed for the state to act. For example, a felony plus any other related charge will result in a 180-day period for the state to present its case.

30.30 Motions In The Time of COVID  

When COVID was declared a state disaster in March 2020, it caused a major disruption to the New York judiciary. Juries could not safely be assembled, so trials could not proceed. By the end of March, “the clock stopped ticking” and NYC criminal defendants’ cases were in limbo; defendants had been sitting in their cells, with none of the time being charged against the people or the state. 

In October 2020, the “clock resumed ticking” when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order Number 202.67, which addressed the then-suspension of 30.30 during COVID-19, and laid out its eventual reinstatement:  

The suspension and modification of Section 30.30 of the criminal procedure law, as continued and modified in EO 202.60, is hereby no longer in effect, except for felony charges entered in the counties of New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and Richmond, where such suspension and modification continues to be effective through October 19, 2020; thereafter for these named counties, the suspension is no longer effective on such date or upon the defendant’s arraignment on an indictment, whichever is later, for indicted felony matters, otherwise for these named counties the suspension and modification of Section 30.30 of the criminal procedure law for all criminal actions proceeding on the basis of a felony complaint shall no longer be effective, irrespective, 90 days from the signing of this Executive order on January 2, 2021.  

With Jan. 2, 2021, in the rearview and no new order from the governor, the suspension has expired for matters that were not on the way to be presented to a grand jury (also known as un-indicted felonies). 

COVID Projections, 30.30, and Your NYC Criminal Defense 

Your case may be impacted because the legal precedent regarding COVID is constantly evolving. Gov. Cuomo’s executive order forced the state to make more strategic decisions about the volume and severity of the cases it could pursue. Furthermore, it can help reduce the bottleneck of new cases. And should this reoccur, prosecutors may be more willing to settle or accept a plea, particularly on non-felony charges. 

You should speak to your NYC criminal defense lawyer to find out if/how this could benefit your case.  

Scientific and medical data projects that COVID infections will continue to rise in the first half of 2021, even as a vaccine is rolled out. This could limit the ability to hold jury trials and cause a repeat of what happened in 2020 – new suspensions could arise or be re-extended. Staying in regular contact with your NYC criminal defense lawyer can only help your case. 

So if you have a case pending in or near NYC, or if you face new charges in the future, you and your NYC lawyer must be aware of how 30.30 calculations may impact the criminal justice system and your defense.

If you or a loved one has been charged with any crime in New York or seeks to have a criminal record sealed, contact D’Emilia Law, criminal defense lawyers in NYC, for a consultation.

This is a custom image created using a stock Shutterstock image and Cat. No. 3030, printed with permission of Blumberg Law Products,
Testify at Trial

Should a Defendant Testify at Trial?

A big question for many criminal defendants is whether they should take the witness stand. Particularly when the defendant is innocent, they often feel compelled to testify in order to tell the jury that they didn’t commit the crime with which they’ve been charged....
Strong Criminal Defense

5 Steps to Building a Strong Criminal Defense

If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s crucial to build a strong case and develop an effective defense strategy. Although facing a criminal accusation can be stressful and overwhelming, it’s important to understand that you are innocent until proven guilty — you’re...
Four Main Categories of Criminal Defenses

What are the Four Main Categories of Criminal Defenses?

If you've been arrested for a crime, it's important to understand that a charge doesn't mean a conviction. The prosecution must prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt — and you have the Constitutional right to assert a vigorous defense. Significantly,...
Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case

What is the Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case?

Under the protections provided by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, a defendant in a criminal case is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Importantly, the prosecution must meet a substantial burden of proof to obtain a conviction — they must...
How Brady Material Can Help Your NYC Criminal Defense

How Brady Material Can Help Your NYC Criminal Defense

D’Emilia Law recently secured a favorable criminal defense result in NYC for a client who was arrested for drug charges after he was initially pulled over for a traffic violation. When police searched his car, they allegedly recovered cocaine and he was charged with...

How Jumping Bail Hurts Your Criminal Defense

A critical stage of a criminal defense case is being released from jail while your trial is pending. This is known as being “bailed” or “bonded” out of jail. Bail is the fee a defendant must pay in order to stay out of jail, whereas a bond is posted by someone else on...
criminal record sealed

NY Criminal Records Sealing: What You Should Know

The NYC criminal defense firm of D’Emilia Law often receives questions from clients about criminal records and how to seal or remove them. We will address some of the most commonly asked questions here and provide some updates. Could you explain the difference between...
ask your lawyer

Four Questions You Should Ask Your NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer

We previously discussed the basic sequence of events involved in a criminal case. We received a lot of feedback from visitors and readers who inspired us to expand on that installment by exploring what defendants should be asking their lawyers. You should hire a NYC...
D'Emilia - criminal law

Understanding the Stages of NYC Criminal Defense Cases

While every criminal defense case is different, most follow a similar path in the NY legal system.  Every defendant should have a basic knowledge of criminal procedure in the event they are ever arrested or need an NYC criminal defense lawyer. Even if you have...
immigration arrest

Immigration and NYC Criminal Defense

Undocumented immigrants who are arrested in the U.S. will first face criminal proceedings. Their top concern is typically whether or not they will go to jail if convicted.  But afterward, they will typically face additional civil proceedings in immigration court....