Indictment for an Aggravated Family Offense is Jurisdictionally Defective When it Fails to Specify the “Present Offense”
The indictment charged Mr. Saenger with numerous counts, including aggravated family offense, alleging he “committed an offense specified in” Penal Law § 240.75(2). The indictment did not specify the offense. Subdivision two contains 54 “specified offense[s],” 36 felonies, and 18 misdemeanors. The Court of Appeals unanimously held that the failure to specify the current misdemeanor offense in the indictment rendered that count jurisdictionally defective. It did not provide Mr. Saenger with fair notice of the charge to enable him to prepare a defense. Nor did it sufficiently allege an element of aggravated family offense, and the bill of particulars did not clarify anything or resolve the jurisdictional defect. Accordingly, the count of the indictment charging aggravated family offense was jurisdictionally defective and was dismissed.
Jenna Hymowitz, Tammy Linn, and Sam Feldman represented Mr. Saenger