Word came today that Francisco Rodriguez will face an additional charge of contempt for violating an order of protection obtained by his girlfriend, Daian Pena. He allegedly texted her 56 times after the order was granted (the Post apparently has some of the texts) and is due in court again today. Given this new development, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the charges facing Rodriguez and see what sentences they carry. Just to make it absolutely clear: I’m not a lawyer (though I did take the LSAT) and the interpretation below is mine alone.
Rodriguez was originally charged with assault in the third degree (a class-A misdemeanor) and harassment in the second degree (a violation). The new charge of criminal contempt is also a class-A misdemeanor. In New York State, class-A misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of one year and violations carry a maximum sentence of 15 days. As a result, if found guilty of all three charges Rodriguez may receive a sentence of two years and 15 days.
New York law allows the court to impose lesser sentences if “having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, finds on the record that such sentence would be unduly harsh and that the alternative sentence would be consistent with public safety and does not deprecate the seriousness of the crime”. Rodriguez has no prior criminal record, so there’s a good chance that he’ll receive a reduced sentence. However, given how a New York court treated former NY Giants receiver Plaxico Burress after he shot himself in the pants, Rodriguez has every reason to fear the worst.
UPDATE: Looks like Rodriguez caught a break today when a Queens Supreme Court Judge Robert Raciti declined to jail him for violating a protection order. The original charges of assault and harassment will be addressed in an October 7th hearing. This means that the maximum sentence will be limited to one year and 15 days (as I understand it) unless Rodriguez violates the order of protection again.