Criminal Procedure Law
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S 720.10 Youthful offender procedure; definition of terms. As used in this article, the following terms have the following meanings: 1. "Youth" means a person charged with a crime alleged to have been committed when he was at least sixteen years old and less than nineteen years old or a person charged with being a juvenile offender as defined in subdivision forty-two of section 1.20 of this chapter. 2. "Eligible youth" means a youth who is eligible to be found a youthful offender. Every youth is so eligible unless: (a) the conviction to be replaced by a youthful offender finding is for (i) a class A-I or class A-II felony, or (ii) an armed felony as defined in subdivision forty-one of section 1.20, except as provided in subdivision three, or (iii) rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, or aggravated sexual abuse, except as provided in subdivision three, or (b) such youth has previously been convicted and sentenced for a felony, or (c) such youth has previously been adjudicated a youthful offender following conviction of a felony or has been adjudicated on or after September first, nineteen hundred seventy-eight a juvenile delinquent who committed a designated felony act as defined in the family court act. 3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two, a youth who has been convicted of an armed felony offense or of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, or aggravated sexual abuse is an eligible youth if the court determines that one or more of the following factors exist: (i) mitigating circumstances that bear directly upon the manner in which the crime was committed; or (ii) where the defendant was not the sole participant in the crime, the defendant's participation was relatively minor although not so minor as to constitute a defense to the prosecution. Where the court determines that the eligible youth is a youthful offender, the court shall make a statement on the record of the reasons for its determination, a transcript of which shall be forwarded to the state division of criminal justice services, to be kept in accordance with the provisions of subdivision three of section eight hundred thirty-seven-a of the executive law. 4. "Youthful offender finding" means a finding, substituted for the conviction of an eligible youth, pursuant to a determination that the eligible youth is a youthful offender. 5. "Youthful offender sentence" means the sentence imposed upon a youthful offender finding. 6. "Youthful offender adjudication". A youthful offender adjudication is comprised of a youthful offender finding and the youthful offender sentence imposed thereon and is completed by imposition and entry of the youthful offender sentence. S 720.15 Youthful offender procedure; sealing of accusatory instrument; privacy of proceedings; preliminary instructions to jury. 1. When an accusatory instrument against an apparently eligible youth is filed with a court, the court, with the defendant`s consent, must order that it be filed as a sealed instrument, though only with respect to the public. 2. When a youth is initially arraigned upon an accusatory instrument, such arraignment and all proceedings in the action thereafter may, in the discretion of the court and with the defendant`s consent, be conducted in private. 3. The provisions of subdivisions one and two of this section requiring or authorizing the accusatory instrument filed against a youth to be sealed, and the arraignment and all proceedings in the action to be conducted in private shall not apply in connection with a pending charge of committing any felony offense as defined in the penal law. The provisions of subdivision one requiring the accusatory instrument filed against a youth to be sealed shall not apply where such youth has previously been adjudicated a youthful offender or convicted of a crime. S 720.20 Youthful offender determination; when and how made; procedure thereupon. 1. Upon conviction of an eligible youth, the court must order a pre-sentence investigation of the defendant. After receipt of a written report of the investigation and at the time of pronouncing sentence the court must determine whether or not the eligible youth is a youthful offender. Such determination shall be in accordance with the following criteria: (a) If in the opinion of the court the interest of justice would be served by relieving the eligible youth from the onus of a criminal record and by not imposing an indeterminate term of imprisonment of more than four years, the court may, in its discretion, find the eligible youth is a youthful offender; and (b) Where the conviction is had in a local criminal court and the eligible youth had not prior to commencement of trial or entry of a plea of guilty been convicted of a crime or found a youthful offender, the court must find he is a youthful offender. 2. Where an eligible youth is convicted of two or more crimes set forth in separate counts of an accusatory instrument or set forth in two or more accusatory instruments consolidated for trial purposes, the court must not find him a youthful offender with respect to any such conviction pursuant to subdivision one of this section unless it finds him a youthful offender with respect to all such convictions. 3. Upon determining that an eligible youth is a youthful offender, the court must direct that the conviction be deemed vacated and replaced by a youthful offender finding; and the court must sentence the defendant pursuant to section 60.02 of the penal law. 4. Upon determining that an eligible youth is not a youthful offender, the court must order the accusatory instrument unsealed and continue the action to judgment pursuant to the ordinary rules governing criminal prosecutions. S 720.30 Youthful offender adjudication; post-judgment motions and appeal. The provisions of this chapter, governing the making and determination of post-judgment motions and the taking and determination of appeals in criminal cases, apply to post-judgment motions and appeals with respect to youthful offender adjudications wherever such provisions can reasonably be so applied. S 720.35 Youthful offender adjudication; effect thereof; records. 1. A youthful offender adjudication is not a judgment of conviction for a crime or any other offense, and does not operate as a disqualification of any person so adjudged to hold public office or public employment or to receive any license granted by public authority but shall be deemed a conviction only for the purposes of transfer of supervision and custody pursuant to section two hundred fifty-nine-m of the executive law. 2. Except where specifically required or permitted by statute or upon specific authorization of the court, all official records and papers, whether on file with the court, a police agency or the division of criminal justice services, relating to a case involving a youth who has been adjudicated a youthful offender, are confidential and may not be made available to any person or public or private agency, other than the designated educational official of the public or private elementary or secondary school in which the youth is enrolled as a student provided that such local educational official shall only have made available a notice of such adjudication and shall not have access to any other official records and papers, such youth or such youth's designated agent (but only where the official records and papers sought are on file with a court and request therefor is made to that court or to a clerk thereof), an institution to which such youth has been committed, the department of corrections and community supervision and a probation department of this state that requires such official records and papers for the purpose of carrying out duties specifically authorized by law; provided, however, that information regarding an order of protection or temporary order of protection issued pursuant to section 530.12 of this chapter or a warrant issued in connection therewith may be maintained on the statewide automated order of protection and warrant registry established pursuant to section two hundred twenty-one-a of the executive law during the period that such order of protection or temporary order of protection is in full force and effect or during which such warrant may be executed. Such confidential information may be made available pursuant to law only for purposes of adjudicating or enforcing such order of protection or temporary order of protection and, where provided to a designated educational official, as defined in section 380.90 of this chapter, for purposes related to the execution of the student's educational plan, where applicable, successful school adjustment and reentry into the community. Such notification shall be kept separate and apart from such student's school records and shall be accessible only by the designated educational official. Such notification shall not be part of such student's permanent school record and shall not be appended to or included in any documentation regarding such student and shall be destroyed at such time as such student is no longer enrolled in the school district. At no time shall such notification be used for any purpose other than those specified in this subdivision. 3. If a youth who has been adjudicated a youthful offender is enrolled as a student in a public or private elementary or secondary school the court that has adjudicated the youth as a youthful offender shall provide notification of such adjudication to the designated educational official of the school in which such youth is enrolled as a student. Such notification shall be used by the designated educational official only for purposes related to the execution of the student's educational plan, where applicable, successful school adjustment and reentry into the community. Such notification shall be kept separate and apart from such student's school records and shall be accessible only by the designated educational official. Such notification shall not be part of such student's permanent school record and shall not be appended to or included in any documentation regarding such student and shall be destroyed at such time as such student is no longer enrolled in the school district. At no time shall such notification be used for any purpose other than those specified in this subdivision. 4. Notwithstanding subdivision two of this section, whenever a person is adjudicated a youthful offender and the conviction that was vacated and replaced by the youthful offender finding was for a sex offense as that term is defined in article ten of the mental hygiene law, all records pertaining to the youthful offender adjudication shall be included in those records and reports that may be obtained by the commissioner of mental health or the commissioner of developmental disabilities, as appropriate; the case review panel; and the attorney general pursuant to section 10.05 of the mental hygiene law. Top of Page