When people in New York hear about a trial for a criminal offense, they might assume that if a person is convicted of the crime, there is a set penalty associated with that offense. That is not necessarily true and in some cases, a judge might have the ability to choose within some parameters what penalties a person will face. There may also be other factors involved that may determine if a person will go to jail or prison and how much time they might actually spend there.
An example of this may be seen in the case involving a defendant accused of causing a an alleged drunk driving accident last summer. According to The New York Daily News, the man hit a vehicle on the Grand Central Parkway while unsuccessfully attempting to pass it. In total, four vehicles ended up in the collision and seven people were hurt and two more people died in the crash.
After entering a guilty plea to the charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, the man has now been sentenced to a term of incarceration to last somewhere between seven and 21 years. It is not known exactly what makes this range so wide and how much time he might end up being in custody and how he might work to keep the time closer to the seven-year mark than the full 21 years.
In situations like this, people in New York might want to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help them understand their options and the proceedings involved in a trial and sentencing.