People v. Valentine

KINGS COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge John Wilson

Both defendants were charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, and prosecutors sought to consolidate the matters. The court noted under Criminal Procedure Law §200.20(2)(a), two offenses may be joined if they were based on the same act or criminal transaction. It stated while there was no doubt the incident alleged in both dockets arose from the same act or criminal transaction, and public policy favored joinder of charges for trial, consolidation was in the sole discretion of the court. The court noted the test to determine if consolidation was required was for the court to decide if granting consolidation or denying severance would result in undue prejudice at trial. It concluded that prejudice to each defendant would result if joinder of the two matters was permitted, noting the "antagonistic defenses" of each would cause prejudice to each defendant. Therefore, the court ruled consolidation was denied.

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