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The Harbinger

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The existing criminal procedure laws of New York do not afford the misdemeanor accused any meaningful preliminary opportunity to fight the substantiation of the accusations against them. This is problematic given that a criminal prosecution can have extreme consequences on an individual’s life, including the loss of liberty, employment, housing, child custody or freedom from immigration removal proceedings. This article therefore analyzes the weaknesses in the existing criminal procedure laws for these prosecutions, and assesses how historical protections dissolved into the myth of preliminary due process for misdemeanor cases today. Ultimately, since the current procedures are ineffective in protecting against unwarranted misdemeanor prosecutions, the solution lies in reintroducing preliminary hearings in all misdemeanor prosecutions to better provide due process for all in the State of New York.



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