The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge DeFiore, over an extensive three-judge dissent, determined defendant’s argument that his plea was invalid because he was not informed that a one-year conditional discharge (CD) would be imposed, was not preserved for appeal. Defendant argued only the community-service sentence was agreed to at the time of the plea and the subsequent imposition of the conditional discharge rendered the plea involuntary:
Defendant challenges the voluntariness of his guilty plea, asserting that the court in its plea colloquy failed to advise him that the 20 days of community service to be imposed would be a condition of a sentence of a one-year conditional discharge. At the outset of the sentencing proceeding, the defense counsel and prosecutor affirmatively acknowledged to the court that the bargained-for sentence to be imposed was a conditional discharge. Prior to imposition of that sentence, defendant who had the practical ability to do so, failed to protest or otherwise seek to withdraw his guilty plea. As a result, defendant’s claim that the court’s imposition of an alleged new sentence rendered his guilty plea involuntary is unpreserved for our review. * * *
From the dissent:
Defendant … pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for a noncarceral sentence of 20 days of community service, along with a mandatory surcharge and temporary suspension of his driver’s license. When defendant appeared after completing his community service and without further criminal incident, the sentencing should have been in accord with the prosecutor and defendant’s agreement. Instead, the court imposed additional year-long conditions that were not agreed to and never mentioned during the plea colloquy or prior to sentencing. As a consequence, defendant’s plea is invalid … . People v Bush, 2022 NY Slip Op 01956, Ct App 3-22-22
Practice Point: Here defense counsel, at the outset of sentencing, acknowledged that the bargained-for sentence was a one-year conditional discharge. On appeal, the defendant argued that, at the time of the plea, he agreed only to a sentence of 20 days of community service, rendering his guilty plea involuntary. The majority held the issue was not preserved for appeal because defendant was alerted to the conditional-discharge sentence at the time of sentencing and did not move to withdraw his plea. The three-judge dissent agreed with defendant’s argument that his plea was involuntary.