Trial Court Erred Regarding Appellant's Predicate Status
December 16, 2015
After pleading guilty to two crimes in Kings County Supreme Court, Thomas Mitchell was sentenced as a second felony offender on the basis of a prior federal conviction for "bank burglary." On appeal, Appellate Advocates argued that this conviction was not a “predicate felony conviction” for sentencing purposes because the statutory elements of bank burglary are not equivalent to those of a New York felony. Reaching the issue in the interest of justice, the Second Department agreed and remanded the case to the trial court for Mr. Mitchell's sentencing as a first-time felony offender.
Erica Horwitz briefed the case on behalf of Appellate Advocates.