First Felony Offender's Probation Sentence Changed to Conditional Discharge

The Appellate Division, First Department reduced our client R. P.’s sentence from three years of probation to three years of conditional discharge, relieving him from the onerous reporting requirements and burdensome conditions of a probation sentence. R. P. pled guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree after police officers illegally searched him on a subway platform and found a so-called “gravity knife” in his pocket. R. P. has been employed as a chef for nearly five years, and he uses the knife, which he bought legally at a local store, to cut boxes at work. On the day that he was arrested by the police, he was on his way to work. This was R. P.’s first felony conviction, and his last misdemeanor conviction was 20 years ago. The Manhattan DA’s office has insisted that it does not pursue cases against people who are carrying gravity knives for work purposes; however, it aggressively prosecuted R. P.’s case and would not let him plead to anything less than a felony. The court rightfully recognized the multiple injustices of this case and reduced R. P.’s sentence. R. P. was represented by Christina Wong.