People v. Richards,

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Citation2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 04688,118 A.D.3d 599,987 N.Y.S.2d 847
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Joseph RICHARDS, Defendant–Appellant.
Decision Date24 June 2014

118 A.D.3d 599
987 N.Y.S.2d 847
2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 04688

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent,
v.
Joseph RICHARDS, Defendant–Appellant.

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

June 24, 2014.


Steven Banks, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Denise Fabiano of counsel), for appellant.

Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York (Brian R. Pouliot of counsel), for respondent.


Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Patricia M. Nunez, J.), rendered April 7, 2010, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and unlicensed driving, and sentencing him, as a second felony offender, to an aggregate term of 3 1/2 to 7 years, unanimously affirmed.

The court did not deprive defendant of his right of self-representation. Defendant failed to make a clear and unequivocal request to represent himself ( see People v. McIntyre, 36 N.Y.2d 10, 17, 364 N.Y.S.2d 837, 324 N.E.2d 322 [1974];People v. Ramos, 35 A.D.3d 247, 825 N.Y.S.2d 222 [1st Dept.2006], lv. denied 8 N.Y.3d 924, 834 N.Y.S.2d 514, 866 N.E.2d 460 [2007] ), and thus did not express the “definitive commitment to self-representation” ( People v. LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106, 783 N.Y.S.2d 485, 817 N.E.2d 341 [2004] ) that would trigger the need for a full inquiry by the court as to whether it should permit him to proceed pro se ( compare People v. Lewis, 114 A.D.3d 402, 980 N.Y.S.2d 389 [1st Dept.2014] [defendant unequivocally requested self-representation following denial of request for new counsel] ). “So that convicted defendants may not pervert the system by subsequently claiming a denial of their pro se right, the pro se request must be clearly and unconditionally presented to the trial court” ( McIntyre, 36 N.Y.2d at 17, 364 N.Y.S.2d 837, 324 N.E.2d 322). Although defendant made remarks that may have suggested that he wanted to represent himself, when the court tried to clarify the situation, defendant made confusing statements such as “I am not an attorney to go pro se.”

The court properly instructed the jury that the knowledge element for possession of a gravity knife would be satisfied by proof establishing defendant's knowledge that he possessed a knife in general, and did not require proof of defendant's knowledge that the knife met the statutory definition of a gravity knife ( see e.g. People v. Parrilla, 112 A.D.3d 517, 977 N.Y.S.2d 29 [1st...

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6 practice notes
  • People v. Brown, 15646
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • April 5, 2022
    ...request to represent himself (see People v. LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106, 783 N.Y.S.2d 485, 817 N.E.2d 341 [2004] ; People v. Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600, 987 N.Y.S.2d 847 [1st Dept. 2014], lv. denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088, 1 N.Y.S.3d 14, 25 N.E.3d 351 [2014] ). Although he began by saying he wante......
  • People v. Brown, 2022-02235
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 5, 2022
    ...He failed to make a clear and unequivocal request to represent himself (see People v LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106 [2004]; People v Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600 [1st Dept 2014], lv denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088 [2014]). Although he began by saying he wanted to proceed pro se, he went on to indicate th......
  • People v. Brown, Appeal No. 15646
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 5, 2022
    ...He failed to make a clear and unequivocal request to represent himself (see People v LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106 [2004]; People v Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600 [1st Dept 2014], lv denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088 [2014]). Although he began by saying he wanted to proceed pro se, he went on to indicate th......
  • People v. Romanowski, 2021-04321
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • July 9, 2021
    ...court had no obligation to conduct "a full inquiry... as to whether it should permit him to proceed pro se" (People v Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600 [1st Dept 2014], lv denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088 [2014]; see People v Johnson, 55 A.D.3d 328, 328 [1st Dept 2008], lv denied 11 N.Y.3d 926 [......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • People v. Brown, 15646
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • April 5, 2022
    ...request to represent himself (see People v. LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106, 783 N.Y.S.2d 485, 817 N.E.2d 341 [2004] ; People v. Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600, 987 N.Y.S.2d 847 [1st Dept. 2014], lv. denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088, 1 N.Y.S.3d 14, 25 N.E.3d 351 [2014] ). Although he began by saying he wante......
  • People v. Brown, 2022-02235
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 5, 2022
    ...He failed to make a clear and unequivocal request to represent himself (see People v LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106 [2004]; People v Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600 [1st Dept 2014], lv denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088 [2014]). Although he began by saying he wanted to proceed pro se, he went on to indicate th......
  • People v. Brown, Appeal No. 15646
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • April 5, 2022
    ...He failed to make a clear and unequivocal request to represent himself (see People v LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88, 106 [2004]; People v Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600 [1st Dept 2014], lv denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088 [2014]). Although he began by saying he wanted to proceed pro se, he went on to indicate th......
  • People v. Romanowski, 2021-04321
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • July 9, 2021
    ...the court had no obligation to conduct "a full inquiry... as to whether it should permit him to proceed pro se" (People v Richards, 118 A.D.3d 599, 600 [1st Dept 2014], lv denied 24 N.Y.3d 1088 [2014]; see People v Johnson, 55 A.D.3d 328, 328 [1st Dept 2008], lv denied 11 N.Y.3d 926 [2009])......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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