As discussed in our March 20, 2008 blog, guilty pleas to “violations” are commonly used
by the experienced NEW YORK CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS at TILEM & CAMPBELL to resolve more serious charges without putting our clients through the cost, expense, risk and time of a trial. At Tilem & Campbell we have successfully negotiated many criminal offenses down to a non-criminal disposition such as a violation. It’s important that your attorney know the particular court your case is pending in as Westchester County has plea-bargaining policies that differ from other counties such as Bronx County. Because of the importance of plea bargaining in general (see our March 7, 2008 post on Plea Bargaining DWI’s) and using violations in plea bargaining (See our March 20, 2008 post), here is some more information on these critical weapons in the plea bargaining arsenal here at Tilem & Campbell.
Violation: (NY Penal Law § 10.00(3)). A violation is an offense for which a person can be sentenced up to 15 days imprisonment. A violation does not include a Traffic Infraction. In addition to falling under the definition of “offense”, a violation is classified as a “petty offense” under the CPL. See CPL § 1.20(39). Violations are not criminal offenses.
Every violation found in the Penal Law is expressly classified as a violation. Penal Law § 55.10(3). Any offense found in a statute outside of the Penal Law which is not expressly classified as a violation will be deemed a violation if it carries a potential term of imprisonment that does not exceed 15 days or the only sentence allowed is a fine. Even if the offense is designated a misdemeanor, felony or something else it is still deemed only a violation if it carries a potential term of imprisonment that does not exceed 15 days or the only sentence allowed is a fine. Penal Law § 55.10(3).
At Tilem & Campbell, when we enter into plea bargain negotiations with the prosecutor in a criminal case, we advocate strongly for a plea bargain wherein our client would plead guilty to a non-criminal offense such as Disorderly Conduct. Keep in mind, Tilem & Campbell is NOT a “read them and plead them” law-firm. Our experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys will only recommend that our clients take a plea deal if, and only if, we feel it is the best possible deal for our client. There are plenty of storefront hacks who will gladly take a small fee and then strong arm his or her client to take the first offer and get the case over with. If that is what you are looking for, Tilem & Campbell is NOT the law firm for you. However if you are looking for experienced and aggressive representation in New York, please contact us.