Actor David Cassidy, best known for his starring role in the 1970s television show "The Partridge Family," recently pled no contest to driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in New York. This marks the second time the actor was arrested for drunk driving in six months, with a prior arrest in Los Angeles. He pled no contest to this charge in March and was also arrested and then convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida back in 2010.
On Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Cassidy and his defense attorney worked to finalize his plea deal in a New York courtroom, pleading no contest in order to reduce his felony DWI to a misdemeanor. His deal would also require 50 hours of community service and the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle Cassidy drives for one year. He may also face participation in an alcohol treatment program.
Though the court accepted the actor's plea, the judge stated that sentencing would need to be adjourned until November 5. The judge's reasoning behind such a requirement was Cassidy's lack of a prior alcohol screening and the prosecuting attorney's failure to ask for a presentencing report.
This case and plea bargain stemmed from an August 21, 2013 DWI arrest on Columbia Turnpike in the town of Schodack, New York, near the end of the Saratoga Race Course meet. According to reports, a young officer pulled the actor over because he failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic. The stop turned into a DWI arrest, and Cassidy reportedly had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10% when tested after his arrest. He was subsequently charged with felony DWI.
Though Cassidy currently resides in Florida, his presence was required at the New York plea hearing.
Drunk driving charges can have serious and lasting consequences for any defendant. This includes the possibility of felony charges, which could result in one year or more in state prison as well as fines, license suspension and other penalties. The mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, or IID, is one of these other penalties. With this requirement, a defendant would need to have a device installed in his or her vehicle that will only allow the vehicle to start if a "clean" breath sample is administered.
Cassidy's plea deal not only reduced his felony charge to a misdemeanor, it allowed him to avoid incarceration. With media attention and other penalties (community service, fines and an ignition interlock device), however, the actor has not necessarily escaped unscathed.
If you are interested in finding out more about DUI charges, plea bargains and what penalties may be associated with a plea deal versus a guilty verdict, now is the time to call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry. We are prepared to offer experienced insight that can help you make informed choices about your case.
Representing drivers in and around Orange County, our firm takes an aggressive stance in criminal court and DMV hearings across Southern California. For more information and a confidential consultation, call a DUI attorney at our firm today.