Recently, a defendant in a New York DWI case filed an appeal of the lower court’s decision regarding his sentence for driving while intoxicated and criminal mischief. The lower court had sentenced the defendant to two years in prison, which the defendant argued was excessive. The higher court looked at the record of the case and determined that the sentence was, indeed, excessive. The court therefore granted the defendant’s appeal and re-sentenced him to six weeks’ incarceration.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with several crimes, including: driving while intoxicated (“DWI”), making an unsafe lane change, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Under advice from counsel, the defendant entered into a plea deal with the State. As part of that deal, he promised that if he failed to complete a treatment program through drug court, he would face a sentence of up to two years in prison. The defendant then began his treatment program, but he soon tested positive for THC and later withdrew from the program.
After the defendant withdrew from the drug program, the lower court sentenced the defendant to the maximum possible time – two years in prison. The defendant immediately appealed, arguing that the sentences were harsh as well as well as a violation of his rights under the US Constitution. Under the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, individuals are entitled to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Here, said the defendant, the two-year sentence was both a cruel and an unusual form of punishment.
In light of this argument, the higher court reviewed the lower court’s decision. While it was true that the defendant was charged with a litany of crimes, it found that the two-year sentence was, indeed, excessive. The lower court had even exceeded the State’s recommendation for how much time the defendant should spend incarcerated, which led the higher court to believe that the two-year sentence was not necessary.
Therefore, said the court, the two-year sentence would be altered to three weeks’ incarceration on each conviction. The defendant therefore needed to spend just six weeks in prison instead of the two years he was sentenced to by the trail court.
Are You Looking for Your Own Criminal Defense Attorney in the State of New York?
At Tilem & Associates, we are here to help if you or a loved one are facing DWI charges in New York. We recognize that fighting the State can feel daunting, especially in a case involving DWI charges, and we pride ourselves in leveraging our vast experience as criminal defense attorneys to help you fight back with the goal of getting your charges dropped. For personalized solutions and aggressive representation, give our office a call for a free and confidential consultation today. We can be reached by phone at 877-377-8666, or you can fill out our online form to have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible.