Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a New York DWI case involving a defendant who was sentenced to six months in jail after he failed to complete the terms of a plea agreement. The case is an example not only of the alternate resolutions that may be available for those facing DWI charges, but also the importance of meeting all conditions of the agreement.
The Facts of the Case
The defendant was arrested and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated. However, through his attorney, the defendant negotiated an agreement by which the defendant would plead guilty to the lesser offense of driving while ability impaired as well as aggravated driving while intoxicated. However, if the defendant refrained from drinking alcohol and successfully completed a treatment program the prosecution and the court would allow him to withdraw his guilty plea to the aggravated DWI charge. However, if the defendant failed to adhere to the conditions of the plea, he would be found guilty of aggravated driving while intoxicated and could be sentenced to up to one year in jail.
As it turns out, the defendant failed several alcohol tests and missed a few test appointments. He also failed to enroll in a qualifying treatment program for financial reasons. The defendant asked the court for another chance, which the court granted him. However, within a few months, the defendant had missed or failed several alcohol tests. As a result, the court sentenced him to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and revoked his license for one year.
Understanding that the jail sentence was an unavoidable result of his failure to complete the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant did not appeal that portion of his sentence. However, he did appeal the issuance of the $1,000 fine, arguing that it was not included in the agreement and that it was excessive. The court did ultimately reject the defendant’s appeal, noting that it was the minimum fine a judge may issue and that there was no evidence he could not afford to pay it.
This case goes to show that not all DWI cases need to end in a trial or a guilty plea to most serious charges. An experienced New York criminal defense attorney may be able to secure a favorable plea agreement to lesser charges. Of course, this only benefits a defendant if they are able to comply with the terms of the agreement.
Have You Been Arrested for a New York DWI Offense?
If you are facing New York drunk driving charges, reach out to the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel for immediate assistance. Attorney Siesel is a veteran criminal defense attorney with extensive experience representing clients in all types of criminal, traffic, and DWI cases. He commands an impressive knowledge of the relevant laws as well as the available ways to resolve a case without the need for a trial. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Siesel today, call (914) 428-7386.