Sunday, August 10, 2014

What is Shock Probation (aka The Split Sentence) in New York State?

Sentencing is the finality in most criminal proceedings but it also means a new beginning. At sentencing we are to begin jail, or begin probation, or begin a combination of the two. In some criminal cases we can avoid both jail and probation (community supervision) with a final sentencing to a C.D. (conditional discharge).

The Two Big Questions

What are the terms of your sentencing?

Are they legal terms and conditions?

Illegal Sentences Can and Do Happen

Believe it or not, I have seen injustices over the years. People being sentenced wrongfully and illegally, and it does happen. We defense attorneys (like us or not) often stand as the watchdog at the gate. With almost 66% of the judges (town and village courts) at the misdemeanor level being non-lawyers the chances of a few mishaps is high. Mishaps with DMV paperwork is one thing, but mishaps with sentencing to jail is quite another.

Shock Probation aka The Split Sentence

Based upon the guidelines of New York State sentencing Shock Probation means a Split Sentence.

Some jail and then a term of Probation. With the new terms of probation being:
3, 4, or 5 years of probation for a felony conviction and 2 or 3 years of probation for a misdemeanor conviction.

A split on a Felony conviction can not exceed 6 months of local incarceration (county jail).
A split on a Misdemeanor conviction can not exceed 60 days of local incarceration (county jail).


Any sentence exceeding these guidelines is an ILLEGAL SENTENCE.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

I am certified in Field Sobriety and Breath Alcohol Testing, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 500 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 500 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.