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State employee accused of illegal credit card felony charges

In New York and other states, some arrests are based on substantial evidence that is clearly strong enough to convict the defendant. In those cases, the defendant is often candid with defense counsel about his or her guilt with respect to the felony charges. Together, they can agree on a strategy for plea negotiations. Counsel will have a greater reservoir of influence in the sentencing process if the clearly guilty client cooperates in expediting an early guilty plea.

Sometimes, the defendant may be asked to cooperate with authorities in providing vital information on the criminal events and the players. A plea bargain can also be based on the defendant providing in-court testimony against a co-conspirator. In that case, the agreement will be executed in writing, and the consideration of leniency to the defendant will generally be substantial.

In a recent New York arrest, authorities charged a state worker in the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities with grand larceny and official misconduct. They allege that the man abused his state credit card by making improper charges to the tune of $16,500. They accuse him of using the card for personal entertainment, including the cost of a ceremony to renew his marriage vows. During the period from June through August, 2015, the accused made 249 improper charges for personal shopping and entertainment. Unless there is a missing smoking gun that proves that the defendant is not the perpetrator, this is probably a case that would be amenable to a resolution with the prosecutor.

The felony charges covered a limited period of time. The defendant was a peer advocate for people with developmental disabilities from 2003 through his resignation in February 2016. That indicates the possibility of an exemplary prior employment record for over 12 years. With the assistance of a seasoned criminal defense attorney versed in New York criminal law and practice, the defendant may receive a probationary sentence that avoids incarceration.  

Source: nypost.com, "State worker billed taxpayers for his own wedding vows: officials", Carl Campanile, Sept. 6, 2016

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