The Third Department determined the writ of prohibition against a judge for accepting a plea to a lesser offense without the prosecutor’s permission was not warranted because the judge (the respondent) acknowledged the mistake. The court further determined it did not have the authority to grant the writ of mandamus, seeking vacation of the plea and reinstatement of the more serious charge, because the plea had already been entered and the conditional discharge sentence had been commenced:
Under CPL 220.10 (3), “the defendant may, with both the permission of the court and the consent of the people, enter a plea of guilty of a lesser included offense.” “Where the record shows that the prosecutor’s consent to a plea is premised on a negotiated sentence and a lesser sentence is later deemed more appropriate, the People should be given the opportunity to withdraw their consent” … . Respondent concedes in his brief that he committed a legal error in accepting Hernandez’s plea to a reduced charge without petitioner’s consent. The question therefore distills to whether a writ of prohibition or writ of mandamus is warranted given that Hernandez’s guilty plea has already been accepted, she was already sentenced by respondent to, among other things, a one-year conditional discharge period and such period expired in November 2017.
“[T]he extraordinary remedy of prohibition is only available where a body or officer proceeded, is proceeding or is about to proceed without or in excess of jurisdiction and there is a clear legal right to such relief” … . Petitioner seeks a writ of prohibition to prohibit respondent from accepting guilty pleas to reduced charges in the future without his consent. Respondent, however, noted at the sentencing hearing that this was the first time that he had ever reduced a charge without petitioner’s consent and that he did so “under the circumstances of [the] case.” Given that the record does not indicate that respondent has undertaken such similar action in the past or has expressed an intention to do so in the future, and taking into account respondent’s concession that his actions were erroneous, petitioner is not entitled to a writ of prohibition … . Matter of Carnright v Williams, 2018 NY Slip Op 00206, Third Dept 1-11-18