Attorney General’s Opinion

 

 

Attorney General’s Opinion

 

Eric Schneiderman

NYS Attorney General

120 Broadway – New York, NY

(212) 416-8000

 

  1. People v. Alton Maddox, Case No. 15080025 (Bethlehem Town. Ct. 2015)

 

  1. Definition:  Black’s Law Dictionary defines attorney general’s opinion: “A written opinion by a state attorney general, usu. given at the request of a public official interpreting a legal provision.”

 

  1. Question Presented:

(1) Can a town justice, unilaterally, amend a certified transcript to the detriment of the motorist and order a hearing on the alleged traffic infractions?

 

(2) Does the tampering of a certified transcript, by a town justice, violate Penal Law § 175.25?

 

  1. Maddox, Alton H. ______Ad2d ___ (2nd Dept. August 1, 1994)
  2. Can justices of App. Div. 2d Dept. find that an attorney failed to enjoy a clean disciplinary record without proof of a hearing and without a transcript?

 

  1. Does the judicial finding and filing of a judicial order without a transcript or a hearing constitute a violation of Penal Law § 175.35?

 

III.  Applicable Statutory Provisions

 

  1. Penal Law § 175.25 Tampering with public records in the first degree.

A person is guilty of “tampering with public records in the first degree” when, knowing that he does not have the authority of anyone entitled to grant it, and with intent to defraud, he knowingly removes, mutilates, destroys, conceals, makes a false entry in or falsely alters any record or other written instrument filed with, deposited in, or otherwise constituting a record of a public office or public servant.

Tampering with public records in the first degree is a class D felony.

 

  1. Penal Law § 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

A person is guilty of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree when, knowing that a written instrument contains a false statement or false information, and with intent to defraud the state or any political subdivision, public authority or public benefit corporation of the state, he offers or presents it to a public office, public servant, public authority or public benefit corporation with the knowledge or belief that it will be filed with, registered or recorded in or otherwise become a part of the records of such public office, public servant, public authority or public corporation.

Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree is a class E felony.

 

  1. Course of Action:

An attorney general’s opinion can be employed to ascertain the unlawfulness of a judge’s ruling to avoid a conviction.  Opinions of the attorney general are necessary to avoid injustices in the above-mentioned cases.  It can be an important weapon in your defense.

 

  1. Answers

 

Don’t take “no” for an answer.

Also ask your “elected” officials to call the state’s attorney general on your behalf.

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