The defendant pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree and was sentenced to one year in jail. The defendant has moved to have the court set aside his sentence. A hearing on the defendant’s motion was held.
The court has presided over Manhattan Treatment Court (MTC) and Drug Treatment Alternative Program (D-TAP) cases since 1998. MTC is a drug treatment program administered by the court as an alternative to incarceration offered to drug possession addicted first time felony offenders which, if successfully completed, results in dismissal of the defendant’s case. Successful completion requires that the defendant be drug free for 12 months, follow the rules and regulations of MTC, and satisfactorily complete an independent drug treatment program. If a defendant fails to successfully complete the program, the defendant is sentenced to one year in jail. Toxicology tests are used by this court and treatment courts throughout the nation to monitor defendants. The defendants are rewarded when their toxicology tests are negative, indicating that they have maintained their sobriety and sanctioned when their toxicologies are positive, indicating that they have relapsed. The defendants entering MTC are told that they control their fate. The court tries to do everything in its power to assist the defendant to deal with his or her addiction. To that end MTC tries to individualize its treatment of the defendants while maintaining a series of graduated sanctions and rewards. The defendants know what is required of them to successfully complete treatment.
When a defendant tests positive for an illicit drug and denies using that drug, MTC splits the test cup. A test cup is split is when the urine sample in the first test cup is poured into a second test cup. If the urine tests positive in the second test cup, the results obtained from the first test cup are confirmed and the results of both test cups are sufficient to establish that the defendant did in fact use an illicit drug. This type of confirmatory testing was approved of by the Court of Appeals.
A member of the New York City Police Department obtained a search warrant, authorizing the search of an apartment in New York County. The search warrant was executed and New York City police officers seized a quantity of cocaine, various items used for the packaging of cocaine, and money. The defendant, who was in the apartment at the time of the search, was arrested. The defendant was charged in a felony complaint with the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. The defendant waived prosecution by indictment and agreed to be prosecuted by a Superior Court Information (SCI). The SCI, filed by the prosecution charged the defendant with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 to 15 years incarceration. The defendant pleaded guilty with the understanding that he would be evaluated and considered for the MTC. Ordinarily, treatment court is not offered to a defendant who was the subject of a search warrant or whose residence was the subject of a search warrant. The court made an exception for the defendant, initially with the caveat that he be placed in a residential program. The defendant was told that if he was accepted into MTC, and successfully completed MTC, his case would be dismissed. The defendant was also told that if he did not successfully complete MTC, he would be sentenced to one year in jail. The case was adjourned for the MTC staff to evaluate the defendant and report to the court with a recommendation for the defendant’s treatment.
To Be Cont….
Admitting to a crime to reduce or lighten jail time does not make the person fully accept that he did wrong. If someone continues to commit the same crime over again, a New York City Drug Crime Lawyer together with the New York Criminal Attorney from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can assist you in exploring your legal action.