Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: The Ithaca Plea Bargains: What's a Farrar Condition?

The Statistics Don't Lie

Average Sentence of Drug Plea bargain: 5 years, 4 months

Average Drug Sentence POST Trial: 16 years

Plea bargaining is a fact of life in New York courts, and for that matter in all courts across the country. This is the reality, our current justice system would be completely backed up if every single defendant (person accused) demanded a trial. Negotiation is part and parcel of the criminal system. How well one can negotiate a case is up to a number of factors. Some facts are hard to swallow and must be analyzed in their best light.

Often the bargain is to plea guilty is to a lesser included offense than the one or ones originally charged. The bargain is further tempered with a recommendation on sentencing to this charge.

In other words plea bargains = CERTAINTY. Certainty is comforting to the majority of people. A specific high, a specific low, and a certainty of no to little surprises as to punishment is a relief.

The judge ultimately has discretion in sentencing but,,,

But when lesser (reduced) charges are with a bargained sentence they come attached with a specific condition, this is called a "Farrar" condition. That means the Judge is BOUND by this condition or conditions.

Easy Peasy: Plea bargain with lesser charge and specific conditions = FARRAR.

From the New York case of People v. Farrar, 53 N.Y.2d 302, Ms. Farrar participated in a robbery, someone died. She was charged with intentional murder. Her deal involved pleading to manslaughter with the condition of a specific jail sentence.

When it came to sentencing the defense wanted to argue for a lesser term of prison which went against the prior deal struck with the prosecutor. This was brought up by the prosecutor and the deal was struck down in the higher court because a conditioned PLEA OFFER the judge is BOUND by, he must follow the condition. If the judge does not follow the condition then the prosecutor is allowed to withdraw the plea deal.

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

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