NY Supreme court halves CAL client's sentence after finding that he was improperly sentenced as a second felony offender.


Richard P was convicted in 2016 of attempted first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and sentenced to an aggregate seven-year prison term. Without objection, he was found to be a second felony offender on the basis of a prior federal conviction for knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute. After obtaining no relief on appeal, CAL challenged the recidivist finding in a CPL 440.20 motion, arguing that the federal intent-to-distribute offense was not the equivalent of any NY felony, because, unlike any NY offenses, the federal offense did not require that a defendant have actual knowledge of the type of drug unlawfully possessed. The court agreed, vacated Mr. P’s sentence, and resentenced him to a three and one-half year prison term. CAL attorney Daniel Hamburg represented Mr. P on the motion and at resentencing.