One of the benefits of working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is that your attorney will often be able to work out a deal with the prosecution. Negotiated plea agreements vary widely, depending on the circumstances, however, the general idea is that you should receive a benefit for accepting responsibility and not making the government take the case to trial.
In some cases, a negotiated plea agreement, or a plea bargain, will result in certain charges being withdrawn. In other situations, the charges remain, but a more favorable sentence is agreed upon. A third option is a conditional plea agreement.
In a conditional plea agreement, you enter a guilty plea on all charges that are a part of the agreement. In addition, you agree to fulfill certain conditions within a specified period of time. In exchange, the prosecution agrees that you will only be convicted of certain offenses if you successfully complete the conditions. However, if you fail to satisfy the condition, the judge will sentence you on all the charges you plead guilty to.
Conditional plea agreements have the potential to avoid some of the most serious consequences of a criminal conviction. However, that is only the case if you understand what you are agreeing to and are confident that you will be able to complete the terms of the plea. A recent appellate decision in a case involving a New York DWI offense illustrates what can happen if you violate the terms of a conditional plea agreement.
In this case, the defendant was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI. However, the defendant worked out a deal by which he would plead guilty to the aggravated DWI charge, would enroll in treatment, and would stop drinking. If he satisfied those conditions, the defendant would only be found guilty of driving while ability impaired and his sentence would be a $300 fine.
Unfortunately, the defendant struggled to comply with the terms of the plea agreement. He missed several appointments for alcohol testing and tested positive at others. Additionally, he failed to enroll in treatment. However, he approached the judge and asked for a second chance, citing an inability to pay for the cost of treatment. The judge gave the defendant a second chance, but when he continued to miss appointments and test positive, the judge found him in violation of the conditional plea agreement. He was then sentenced to six months in jail. His license was also revoked for 12 months, and he was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000. The court upheld all aspects of the sentence on appeal.
Are You Facing a New York DWI Offense?
If you are facing a New York drunk driving charge, having an attorney represent you throughout the process is critical. A skilled attorney at Tilem & Associates can work with you to develop a strong defense to the government’s case. However, if you decide you’d rather not take the case to trial, we can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. Regardless, we always ensure that you understand every aspect of your case and keep you informed as to all developments. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our New York criminal defense attorneys, call 877-377-8666 today.