People v. Maxwell
Court Discusses Pleading to a Lesser Offence
The Defendant, who was driving while intoxicated, was involved in a collision that resulted in the death of another person. The defendant was indicted for criminal negligence in operation of a motor vehicle resulting in death and driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor. He then pleaded to a lesser offence of assault in the second degree, upon the recommendation of the District Attorney. He was convicted of assault in the second degree and sentenced to serve one year and six months to three years in state prison. The defendant then appealed his conviction of assault in the second degree.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court reversed the conviction and the plea of guilty was vacated and the matter was remitted to the lower court. Assault in the second degree was not a lesser crime than criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle resulting in death or a charge where a lesser punishment is given. Hence, the court did not have the jurisdiction to accept the plea of guilty of assault in the second degree where the defendant was indicted for driving under the influence DUI and criminal negligence in operating a motor vehicle resulting in death. The recommendations made by the District Attorney pursuant to statute were inconsistent with the Penal Law.
A Staten Island Criminal Attorney can assist with any matter associated with criminal negligence that is closely connected to motor vehicle accident. A Queens County Criminal Lawyer knows when the court does not have the jurisdiction to receive a plea based on the circumstances of the case and statute. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we offer excellent legal services to assist you with your legal dilemmas to achieve the best results. Our offices are conveniently located throughout New York City and we offer free consultations.