DA explains controversial plea bargain
Despite what is implied in the Vail Daily, Dr. Milo never asked me to plea Mr. Erzinger to a felony. Dr. Milo asked that I plead Mr. Erzinger to a felony deferred judgment and sentence.
What this means is that Mr. Erzinger would plead to a felony leaving the scene of an accident, and the judgment would be set aside.
In either two or four years, as long as Mr. Erzinger met certain conditions, the case would drop off his record and he would be allowed to seal this case. Since there was no alcohol or drugs involved, the only conditions I could legally ask for were that he pay restitution and stay out of trouble.
Given that he had a clean history, Mr. Erzinger would essentially have been able to write a check, and the case would then be dismissed. On top of that, while Dr. Milo was still probably recovering from his injuries, Mr. Erzinger would be able to say that he had no criminal history and even deny that anything had happened. That is not something I could stomach.
I therefore offered that Mr. Erzinger plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and careless driving causing serious bodily injury.
This means that for the rest of his life, Mr. Erzinger will have on his record that he carelessly drove, caused another human being serious bodily injury and left the scene. He will lose his driver's license, face potential jail time as determined by the judge and still have to pay restitution, which as I said in the Vail Daily is important to us but not an overriding objective in the plea.