People v Lopresti
Court Discusses Vacation of a Practicing Attorney Previous Conviction
The defendant, a practicing attorney and former Assistant District Attorney, in 2006 was charged and indicted for Operating a Motor Vehicle While under the Influence of Alcohol as a felony after being involved in an accident and having.17 blood alcohol content. An element of the charge was in a previous conviction where he pled guilty to driving while under the influence in 2003. The defendant requested that a misdemeanor conviction, he entered a plea of guilty to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, DWI, in 2003 be vacated. The defendant’s reason for vacating the conviction was that he was he was unaware that when he pled guilty that he could be prosecuted for a felony if he was arrest for another driving while intoxicated within ten years. He also stated in his Nassau County Criminal Attorney that represented him was in effective as he did not inform him that if he pled guilty he could be prosecuted for a felony if he committed another offense. In his affidavit, he further asserted that would not have pled guilty if he was properly advised by his attorney. The People provided an affidavit of the New York City Criminal Lawyer that advised the defendant which stated that the defendant was advised of all the repercussions of pleading guilty and possible charges that could arise in the future if he was charged again with the same offense.
The defendant relied on the case of Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S.Ct. 173 (2010) to show that he was entitled to vacate his plea. The case of Padilla was about a defendant who was not a citizen of the United Stated pleading guilty to possession of an illegal substance. He pled guilty because of the advice that his attorney gave him which stated that he would not be subjected to deportation if he pled guilty. Mr. Padilla was deported and it was found that his attorney was constitutionally ineffective as he was given legal advice that he relied on to his detriment. However, the defendant could not cite any case where the case of Padilla was successfully applied to a case with similar fact as his case. However, the prosecution relied on the case of People v. Lancaster 260 A.D, 2d 660, 661 (3rd Dept.1999) held that if a defendant who was convicted for driving while intoxicated was subjected to enhanced criminal consequences for a crime committed in the future as a collateral consequence of a guilty plea, the defendant did not need be advised about such consequences. The defendant was of the opinion that the ruling in Padilla overruled Lancaster tacitly or even explicitly. No gun was found.
The court did not support the defendant’s reasons to vacate the plea on the grounds of Padilla. It found that Lancaster was not overruled by Padilla and that the cases dealt with two different cases. The defendant in Padilla was ill-advised by an attorney regarding his deportation as a result of a criminal conviction. In contrast with the defendant’s case, the repercussions in this case was not important until the defendant was charged again with committing, in essence, the same offense. The reasoning in Lancaster was relevant to the instant case because the attorney was not required to inform the defendant that entering a plea of guilty would expose him to enhance criminal sanctions if he committed another crime of the same nature.
Therefore, the motion was denied.
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