People v A
2018 NY Slip Op 03136
May 2, 2018
This is an appeal from Westchester County Supreme Court. The decision is from 3/11/2010 hearing where the defendant was convicted of 3d degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, to which he plead guilty. In March 2017 the case was remitted to the Superior Court to give the defendant a chance to vacate his plea. The appeal was held in abeyance during this time.
The defendant argues that he didn’t knowingly enter his please because he was never advised that if he plead guilty he could be deported. In a prior hearing, the court remitted the case to the Westchester Supreme Court to give the defendant a chance to vacate his plea, and a report to made after (People v Agramonte 148 AD 923). The court said that a defendant who wants to vacate a plea because of this defect must prove that there is a high probability that the defendant would not have plead that way had he known the consequences. Rather, he would have gone to trial if he had known to avoid deportation (People v. Peque 22 NY3d 168). The court held that the defendant didn’t meet this burden.
The defendant argued that he was deprived of effective counsel because his lawyer didn’t advise him of this prior to his making his plea, as per Padilla v Kentucky 559 US 356. There are no facts to support this. A motion per CPL 440.10 is not on the record (People v Pastor 28 NY3d 1089; People v Haffiz 119 NY3d 883, People v. Fernandez 148 AD3d 1052).
In general, a plea is the defendant’s answer to a factual matter. In criminal cases, it consists of pleading either guilty, not guilty or no contest (nolo contendre).
A guilty plea means that the defendant admits he has committed a crime. It is considered a complete admission of guilt and waives the defendant’s rights. The court must consent to a guilty plea.
A not guilty plea means that the defendant denies the charges. The burden of proof goes to the city, state or federal government to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The plea of no contest isn’t an admission of guilt. However, it will subject the defendant to punishment for the crime. This type of plea enables the defendant to deny the facts in other proceedings. For sentencing purposes, it is the same as a guilty plea. Its difference is that the charges can’t be used against him in another proceeding.
If the defendant decides not to enter a plea at all, the court will consider this a plea of not guilty.
In many instances pleas in court involve a plea bargain. These are quite common in criminal courts today and account for approximately 90% of all criminal cases. A pleas bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor, where the defendant pleads guilty they will do so to accept a lesser charge or more lenient sentence.
If you have criminal charges against you, include a drug offense, or are accused of possessing heroin or a designer drug, it is important that you seek legal guidance as soon as possible. The punishment for these crimes can be harsh. Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates for guidance and a free consultation at 1-800-NYNYLAW. We have locations in available throughout New York including New York City, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. We also have offices in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.
People v A