In a case before the Arizona Court of Appeals earlier this month, the defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for aggravated driving while under the influence. Originally, the defendant was charged and found guilty after a jury trial; he was sentenced to concurrent twelve-year prison terms because the jury found that he was on felony release when he committed the offenses. The defendant asked the higher court to vacate his sentence, but after reviewing the case, the court rejected the appeal and affirmed the original conviction.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with two counts of aggravated driving while under the influence. The State tried to offer the defendant a settlement deal, which would have allowed him to accept a sentence of five years in prison if he agreed to plead guilty. The defendant rejected the deal and decided he wanted to move forward with trial.
Two days before trial, the trial judge had the parties in for a scheduling conference, just to talk about logistics for trial. At that conference, the judge asked the defendant about whether he was sure he did not want to settle the case. The defendant stated that he was sure, and that he wanted to proceed with trial as originally planned.