State trooper avoids prison by entering into plea agreement

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2021 | blog, Federal Crimes

A former New York State Police trooper will perform 20 hours of community service for filing a false arrest report and lying during a pretrial hearing. The 34-year-old Long island man’s sentence was handed down on June 28. He was facing up to seven years in a state prison when he entered into a plea agreement on May 4. That was the day before his trial was due to start.

Drunk driving arrest

The former trooper was indicted by a grand jury on 14 counts of perjury in connection with a 2017 case entitled People v. Tunney in Suffolk County involving an alleged drunk driver. The former trooper took the man into custody and stated in his arrest report that he had observed him swerve across the center line on Bay Shore Road before entering a convenience store parking lot. The former trooper repeated this story during the alleged drunk driver’s pretrial hearing.

Security footage

However, security footage revealed that the former trooper was inside the convenience store when the alleged drunk driver arrived and could not have witnessed the events on Bay Shore Road that he described in the arrest report and pretrial hearing. When officials decided to press charges, the former trooper selected Edward V. Sapone to act as his criminal law attorney. Mr. Sapone negotiated a plea agreement that would allow prosecutors to avoid the risks of a trial if they agreed to allow the former trooper to resign his position and perform community service. The former trooper will not be incarcerated or spend time on probation.

Plea agreements

The overwhelming majority of criminal prosecutions end with plea agreements. If you have been charged with a crime and are worried about the penalties you could face, a criminal defense attorney with experience at the negotiating table may seek to ensure the best outcome for you. An attorney could remind the prosecutors involved about the risks of arguing before a jury and mention mitigating factors that could paint your actions in a different light.